Turkish Journalist Faces Prison Over Paradise Papers

Journalist Pelin Ünker has been sentenced to jail over the Paradise Papers investigation after being found to have defamed Turkey’s former prime minister and two of his sons. An Istanbul court sentenced the ICIJ member to imprisonment for 13 months for “defamation and insult.” Ünker, who reported that former prime minister Binali Yildirim and his sons owned companies in Malta in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, was also fined $US1615. Prime minister from May 2016 to July 2018, Yildirim became speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly after the post of Prime Minister was abolished. Following her sentencing, Ünker told ICIJ that she intended to appeal what was an extraordinary but unsurprising court ruling. Ünker said what made the “world first” ruling so remarkable was that the complainants acknowledged that her articles were true.

Source: ICIJ

Posted on: January 9, 2019

New CPJ Campaign to Free Jailed Journos

The Committee to Protect Journalists today launched a new campaign to free the record 262 imprisoned journalists around the world. Based on easily-mailed postcards sent from the CPJ site, the campaign is designed to build support and pressure in the lead-up to World Press Freedom Day on May 3. CPJ is focusing at first on five journalists wrongly imprisoned in China, Republic Congo, Egypt, Kyrgystan and Turkey. You can follow the campaign at #FreeThePress.

Source: CPJ.org

Posted on: April 2, 2018

Turkey’s Erdogan Calls Journalists Terrorists

Turkish president Recep Erdogan told an audience at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York this week that his country has put more journalists in jail than any other nation because: “They’re not journalists, they’re terrorists.” Erdogan’s assertions were a chilling alternative reality to the well-documented persecution of journalists by his government. An estimated 150 journalists remain imprisoned in Turkey, while The Guardian says more than 2,500 journalists have lost their jobs and hundreds have had their press cards revoked following a media purge following the failed coup in 2016.

Source: Quartz

Posted on: September 22, 2017

Video Analysis: Turkish Goons or Protesters?

Last week, a melee broke out between black-suited security officers with visiting Turkish President Erdogan and protesters in Wash., D.C. News reports and video pointed to Erdogan's own men as the instigators, but the embassy blamed demonstrators. Reporters from The New York Times painstakingly reviewed videos and photos to track the actions of 24 men, and found that Turkish officials were indeed behind the attacks. Impressive sleuthing by the Times.

Source: New York Times

Posted on: May 26, 2017

CPJ Finds Record 259 Journalists in Prison

Turkey leads the world in number of journalists imprisoned, with at least 81 behind bars under the Erdogan regime, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists annual census. The 259 journalists in prison worldwide is the highest number recorded since CPJ began keeping records in 1990. The Turkish journalists all face anti-state charges following an unprecedented crackdown that has shut down over 100 news outlets. 

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists

Posted on: January 16, 2017

Turkey Targets Media, Not Coup Backers

With arrest warrants issued this week for 89 journalists, and the closure of at least 131 newspapers, television and radio stations, publishers and news agencies, it's clear that the Erdogan regime is targeting independent media and not coup supporters. Among the 40 journalists detained this week are leading investigative reporters and independent voices in the Turkish media.

Source: Guardian

Posted on: July 30, 2016

Turkey’s Top Paper Taken Over by Govt

In the latest move toward authoritarian control and muzzling a free press, Turkish authorities today shut down and took over the country's largest newspaper, Zaman. The paper managed a final edition, declaring "The Turkish press has experienced one of the darkest days in its history." Zaman chief editor Abdulhamit Bilici was defiant. "I believe that free media will continue even if we have to write on the walls," he said after a police raid Friday. "I don't think it is possible to silence media in the digital age."

Source: BBC News

Posted on: March 5, 2016

Turkey: “Real Journalism Never Goes Unpunished”

"Almost anyone who goes after genuine stories of reality pays a price in some form or other, by being fired, intimidated, sued or forced into self-censorship," writes Turkish columnist Sevgi Akarçeşme. "The current Turkish media landscape does not allow the public to have access to much of the news, thanks to political pressure coupled with the efforts of pro-government journalists."

Source: Sunday's Zaman

Posted on: July 5, 2015

New EU Awards Offered for Stories in Turkey, Balkans

EU Awards for Investigative Journalism in Western Balkans and Turkey are a new award for work in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Each prize includes 3,000-5,000 euros. For "investigative stories contributing to transparency and reporting on societal issues related to abuse of power and fundamental rights, corruption and organised crime that otherwise would not have been brought to the public's attention." Deadline: April 23.

Source: SEE Media Observatory

Posted on: April 11, 2015

Danone Accused of Misleading Turkish Moms

Story of the Day: The London-based Bureau of Investigative Reporting finds multi-national food giant Danone warning Turkish mothers to use its powdered baby milk in addition to breast milk. The episode has echoes of the baby milk controversies of the 1970s, which led to the international boycott of Nestlé.

Source: The Bureau of Investigative Reporting

Posted on: June 29, 2013