Set journalists free in Turkey: EFJ Campaign update

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has begun an international campaign to demand freedom for detained journalists, called Set Journalists Free in Turkey.

EFJ unions across Europe have already been paired up with individual detained journalists in Turkey and are doing what they can to support them and campaign for their release.

The EFJ website says:  “Over 700 individuals and organisations around the world have joined the “Set Turkish Journalists Free” campaign thanks to your support. Thousands of human rights activists have sent a petition letter to the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling for the release of the jailed journalists in Turkey. As of today, 76 professional journalists still remain in Turkish prisons with many waiting desperately a fair trial. Please keep supporting our campaign and share your solidarity with our jailed colleagues in Turkey.” Continue reading “Set journalists free in Turkey: EFJ Campaign update”

Trials and Tribulations in Turkey

by David Morgan, Peace in Kurdistan

Turkey’s lamentable human rights record and, in particular its attempts to intimidate independent Kurdish organisations through mass show trials, was the theme of an important seminar held by Peace in Kurdistan on 18 September in Garden Court Chambers.

The briefing brought together leading legal experts, media professionals and human rights activists who had all been taking a close interest in the trials of fellow lawyers, journalists, academics and trade unionists taking place in Turkey over recent months.

The trials, which have involved the arrest of thousands of progressive and mainly Kurdish activists, and seen hundreds sent to trial, have collectively become known as the KCK trials after the Kurdistan Communities Union, an umbrella civil society association, which the Turkish state deems to be a front for terrorism.

The trials in fact amount to Turkey’s attempts to criminalise and eliminate all aspects of Kurdish legal political activity and are the state’s response to recent electoral advances made by the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, which has been gaining strength in the largely Kurdish southeast. Continue reading “Trials and Tribulations in Turkey”

KCK trial dates, Autumn 2012

Since 2009, over 8,000 people in Turkey have been arrested as part of anti-terror operations against the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union). The detainees include elected officials, such as BDP deputy Sebahat Tuncel, who was last week sentenced to 8 years in prison. Peace is Kurdistan has arranged for people such as Margaret Owen OBE, who observed the hearings of 36 Kurdish lawyers on trial for defending Abdullah Ocalan, to monitor these trials. We’d like to encourage individuals to follow up that work by attending the sentencing of those lawyers, which is expected to happen on 6 November.

The dates for recent and upcoming KCK hearings are as follows:

28 August: Şirnak KCK, at Diyarbakir 6. High Criminal Court 2-12/24

31 August: Izmir KCK: Trial of 34 people arrested before Newroz at Izmir High Criminal Court

5 September: KCK Aydın Trial (29 defendants including 9 arrestees) in Ozmir Continue reading “KCK trial dates, Autumn 2012”

Doğan Özgüden: “A shameful press trial for Turkey as for Europe!”


Doğan Özgüden, Info-Türk Chief Editor,  issued the following declaration on September 9, 2012, on the occasion of the  60th anniversary of the beginning of his journalistic career in Turkey:
44 journalists before a Turkish tribunal

A shameful press trial for Turkey as for Europe!

I began journalism in the Republic of Turkey at the age of 16 years in Izmir on September 9, 1952

It was the first years of the Democrat Party’s power having promised a real democratization in the country. However, at that date, 184 personalities of whom many writers or artists of the country were already behind iron bars on charge of belonging to a communist organization. It was followed by the arrest of many journalists or writers whatsoever be their political opinion. Continue reading “Doğan Özgüden: “A shameful press trial for Turkey as for Europe!””

PiK public meeting: “Mass political show trials in Turkey”

6.30-8.30pm Tuesday 18 September 2012

Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  (nearest tube: Holborn)

Chaired by Prof Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, President of the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and International Secretary of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Speakers include

Margaret Owen OBE, barrister, member of the Bar Human Rights Committee

Ali Has, solicitor

Tony Simpson, Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation; editor of “The Spokesman”

Barry White, NUJ representative of the European Federation of Journalists Continue reading “PiK public meeting: “Mass political show trials in Turkey””

Statement by columnist for ODA TV

To Turkish people and to the international community

The pressure and limitations on freedom of press in Turkey is not a new or recent phenomenon. However, it has reached to its peak level during the reign of the Islamist-rooted AKP government, due to its new regime perspective and hate towards the traditional pro-secular segments of the society. Today in Turkey almost 100 journalists are in prison for unjust accusations.

One of the most apparent cases, through which the freedom of press is under serious attack, is the Oda TV case in Turkey, in which fourteen journalists and writers have been taken under police surveillance and in which eleven of these journalists and writers have been arrested and put in prison.

The case is of the same sequence along with the other political cases, which are widely known as “the Ergenekon” and “the Balyoz” cases. In all of these cases there are serious illegal exercises of the police officers and of the prosecutors, besides the existence of the so-called “proofs”, which were later understood to be fabricated by many expertise reports. Continue reading “Statement by columnist for ODA TV”

“We force them into line”: Press control in place of press freedom in Turkey

by Mako Qocgiri

Originally published on ISKU – Informationsstelle Kurdistan. A PiK translation.

What could be more beautiful for a government than to see the media in its country only writing positive things about it? Certainly this would influence public opinion to the benefit of the government, which would in turn ease the path to re-election. Unfortunately it is not always so easy for some governments. Because, where there is democracy, the media ought to critically examine the policies of the government. Therefore the government must make more effort not to have any stumbles in their policies because the media representatives are on their tail. So goes the theory…. Continue reading ““We force them into line”: Press control in place of press freedom in Turkey”