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July 22, 2008

IFJ demands Turkey lift ban on workers' television network

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has criticised Turkish authorities over censorship of Hayat TV, a Turkish satellite television network supporting workers' rights. The network was suspended from broadcasting last week on the orders of the High Council for Turkish Broadcasting (RTUK) for allegedly providing film of the Kurdish New Year celebrations to Roj TV, a station based in Germany that the Turkish authorities regard as an outlet of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)... MORE
June 19, 2008

Court acquits owner and editor of Armenian weekly 'Agos'

The main owner of Armenian-Turkish newspaper Agos and the daily's editor have been acquitted of charges of “trying to obstruct a fair trial” by publishing an editorial that criticised the one-year suspended prison sentences imposed on three of its journalists. Serkis Seropyan, the main owner of Agos and editor Aris Nalci were Wednesday acquitted by a criminal court in the Istanbul district of Sisli at the request of a new prosecutor, Mucahit Ercan, who said in court that the editorial’s content... MORE
May 8, 2008

Turkish president approves amendment, but Article 301 changes don't go far enough

Turkey's president has approved an amendment enhancing free speech. President Abdullah Gul signed the amendment Wednesday, according to Anatolia news agency. It changes a law restricting free speech that had been used to prosecute many intellectuals, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk. Turkey's parliament approved the amendment to Article 301 of the penal code last week. The president had to provide final approval before the amendment could take effect. The reform to article 301 of the penal... MORE
April 9, 2008

Turkish govt proposes changing controversial law on freedom of speech

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey has introduced a bill to soften a controversial article in the country's penal code outlawing criticism of Turkish identity. The proposal, the Southeast European Times website reported, contains amendments to the controversial Article 301, which decrees jail sentences of three years or less for insulting "Turkishness". Prosecutors have used it to indict scores of prominent Turkish intellectuals, including Orhan Pamuk, the 2006 Nobel... MORE
March 22, 2008

Turkish editor arrested in crackdown on nationalist extremists

The leader of a small Turkish nationalist party and the editor of a left-leaning newspaper have been detained in a probe into a shadowy ultra-nationalist gang, Reuters reported quoting Turkish media on Friday. Thirty-nine people have already been charged in the police investigation into the far-right group, known as Ergenekon, over allegations that it sought to engineer a coup against the country's Islamist-rooted government in 2009. Turkish police told Reuters 12 people in total had been... MORE
October 14, 2007

Turkey: First 6 months saw 450 people on trial in free speech cases

Turkey continues to use the judicial system to curb free expression. Journalists are still being charged under Article 301 of Turkey's Penal Code, which makes "insulting Turkishness" a crime punishable by prison terms. In the first six months of this year, 451 people were involved in 94 trials for using their right to freedom of expression out of which 17 were under Article 301. The controversial article was introduced in 2005 as part of a package of penal law reforms in the process preceding... MORE
September 29, 2007

Turkish policemen on trial for posing with suspect in Dink murder

Two Turkish policemen went on trial Friday for their role in a scandal which saw security forces pose for pictures with the suspected murderer of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the official Anatolia news agency reported. The trial in the northern city of Samsun is the first time that members of the security forces have been brought before a court over the January 19 murder, which the police are accused of failing to prevent. The charges followed a complaint from Dink's family that... MORE
August 29, 2007

Turkey: Authorities block another website following complaint by religious leader

(BIANET/IFEX) - The judiciary in Turkey has again blocked access to a website because of the content of one item on the site. Following the blocking of the alternative dictionary website "Eksisözlük" (literally, "sour dictionary"; ? ) and the website ( ), access to the website ( ) has now also been blocked, following a complaint by religious sect leader Adnan Oktar. A civil court of... MORE
July 2, 2007

Hrant Dink murder trial gets under way in Turkey amid calls for real justice

Six months after the murder of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, 18 suspects went on trial Monday in a case widely seen as a test of whether the country's judiciary will be able to investigate allegations of official negligence in the slaying, news reports said. Dink was gunned down on January 19 and his killing led to international condemnation and debate within Turkey about free speech. Dink was hated by hardline nationalists for describing the mass killings of Armenians early in the... MORE
March 14, 2007

Turkish military's press blacklist evokes condemnation

The Turkish military has been classifying journalists by their perceived attitude toward the military and using that classification to grant or deny press accreditations. Leaked reports published in the Turkish press last week show that the news media is classified according to support for government policies and that the procedures for issuing press accreditation are used to undermine critical newspapers and journalists and reward those that support the armed forces. The Turkish army... MORE