Northern Cyprus: IFJ and EFJ call for charges against union president to be dropped

  • 06 Oct 2023

Ali Kişmir faces a ten year prison sentence for “insulting and mocking” security forces. 

The NUJ joins the international and European Federations of Journalists in urging authorities to withdraw charges against Ali Kişmir, president of the Cyprus Turkish Journalists' Union (Basin-Sen). 

Kişmir is standing trial on 6 October over an opinion piece published in 2020, where he described the state of his country’s politics as a “brothel.” The journalist faces charges for “insulting and mocking the security forces” and will be tried in a court in Northern Cyprus, a territory recognised internationally by only Türkiye. 

In 2023, Kişmir was forced to resign from online channel TV20 following publication of an article criticical of  the , Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar. The piece was later censored and removed from the website. 

Turkish government officials have previously called Kişmir “an enemy of Türkiye” and a traitor. Facing a ten year prison sentence if convicted, he has highlighted the “dangerous precedent for all journalists” as a result of his judicial proceedings. 

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary and Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ general secretary, expressed their full solidarity with Ali Kişmir. 

"Together with the members of Basin-Sen, we call for the withdrawal of baseless and disproportionate charges against our colleague Ali Kişmir. Prosecuting journalists to silence them is an act carried out by authoritarian regimes.

"We urge the authorities to stop bringing criminal prosecutions against critical journalists and remind them of their obligations towards freedom of expression."


Return to listing