Justice for journalists in Turkey
3 February 2015
Since the failed coup against the Turkish government, President Erdogan has launched a massive crack down on the press.
His government issued a decree ordering the closure of 131 media organisations, including three news agencies, 16 television channels, 23 radio stations, 45 daily newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishing houses. Journalists are being issued with arrest warrants. More than 150 have been jailed. Under the country's state of emergency, the authorities can hold suspects in detention without charge for 30 days.
Media coverage during Turkey’s constitutional referendum in April was criticised by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) which said the two sides in the campaign did not have equal opportunities. OSCE observers reported that "while the technical aspects of the process were well administered, voters were not provided with impartial information about key aspects of the reform, and limitations on fundamental freedoms had a negative effect". It said civil society organisations were not able to participate. Full statement from the International Referendum Observation Mission.
In April, NUJ president Tim Dawson took part in a meeting with members of the Turkish journalist trade union TGS in the midst of Erdogan's crackdown. Come to Turkey and show your support
A delegation led by the National Union of Journalists has met Turkey's ambassador in London, Abdurrahman Bilgiç, to discuss concerns about the crack down on press freedom following the failed coup in the country and a delegation from the National Union of Journalists met the First Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in Dublin to discuss these concerns.
You can take part in the IFJ's Solidarity campaign with journalists, there are a number of ways you can support fellow journalists on the campaign's website page. In 2010, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) launched an international campaign to set free all journalists in Turkey.
The NUJ is working with international journalist organisations and press freedom groups to support colleagues in Turkey and put pressure on the international community to seek justice.
Westminster hall debate March 2017
Latest on Turkish trials of journalists from Barry White September 2016
"Together we call for an urgent appeal of the life sentences given to these journalists and the swift review of cases in which journalists are imprisoned because of their professional works. We further call for the decriminalisation of journalists in Turkey's justice system."
Background information and updates
NUJ 'deplores' arrests of Turkish media workers (December 15, 2014)
Barry White, an observer of the trials for the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), gives an update on the situation in his comment piece Fewer journalists in Turkish prisons, but new dangers ahead. (October, 2014)
Forty-five intellectuals and artists have issued a statement offering support to Amberin Zaman and Ceyda Karan, two female journalists who have recently faced continued attacks over Twitter by pro-government activists due to their criticism of the government, a daily said on Monday. Report
Eric Lee on the TUC blogsite: Turkish trade unionists on trial: the second stage begins
Open Letter: Press Freedom in Turkey. In advance of the visit of Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, on 21 January in Brussels regarding the EU accession of Turkey.
Last two OdaTV defendants 'released', December 2013
Two journalists freed but 60 still remain in jail: the EFJ has welcomed the recent release of two journalists Mustafa Balbay and Nilgün Yıldız from Europe’s largest prison for journalists, Turkey.
The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), has called on the Turkish government to stop jailing journalists and to guarantee freedom of the press in Turkey.
The international media turns the spotlight on Turkey, October 2013
EFJ Turkey campaign update, February 2013
Statement on Turkey by the European Federation of Journalists, September 2012