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the terror and torment of Turkey’s jailed journalists – The Guardian

Scores of imprisoned Turkish journalists face a Kafkaesque nightmare of legal limbo, farcical charge sheets, maltreatment and even solitary confinement in the country that locks up more reporters than any other in the world. A series of Guardian interviews and written exchanges with several of those jailed as a result of a sweeping media crackdown found a huge mental burden on the incarcerated, as well as tough social and intellectual restrictions. “I have been broken and twisted in more ways than I can imagine,” says the recently released novelist Aslı Erdoğan (no relation to the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan), who spent five days in solitary confinement at the start of four months of pretrial detention. Mehmet Altan, a journalist awaiting trial for supposedly attempting to bring down the government describes his life in prison as an environment “where no needs of a mature mind are met. It is like wearing striped pyjamas. It is a very narrow life without any joy or feeling to it.” “Never have I seen this much wrongdoing,” said Barış Yarkadaş, an MP in the opposition Republican People’s party (CHP) and a member of the media commission that monitors journalists’ arrests and provides them with legal aid. The media crackdown followed a coup attempt last July that left more than 200 people dead and more than 1,400 injured. The purges have led to tens of thousands of civil servants, members of the police, military and judiciary as well as academics and journalists being either detained or dismissed for alleged links to the network of Fethullah Gülen, an exiled preacher blamed for instigating the coup. Opponents of President Erdoğan say the purges have turned into a witch-hunt against dissidents in government, academia and the media, to stifle them before a historic referendum in April that would grant sweeping powers to the president. The CHP says 152 journalists are behind bars and 173 media outlets have been shut since the coup attempt, including newspapers, magazines, radio stations, websites and news agencies. More than 2,500 journalists have been laid off because of the closures and 800 have had their press cards revoked, with many also having their passports confiscated. The government only acknowledges that 30 journalists are in prison. In November, a dozen journalists at Cumhuriyet, Turkey’s oldest newspaper and a bastion of opposition to Erdoğan, were arrested and most have remained in custody without formal indictments. The government has threatened to appoint a trustee board to manage the publication’s affairs in a move that would silence its critics. Many Kurdish outlets have been shut and often recreated under different names after accusations of propaganda on behalf of the PKK. Kurdish journalists have been repeatedly arrested while reporting on demonstrations against the government, only to be quickly released after one hearing, in a practice seen as an attempt to intimidate them. Last month Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist who works for Die Welt newspaper, was formally arrested because of his reporting on the hacking of the personal emails of Berat Albayrak, the energy minister and Erdoğan’s son-in-law. “Turkey now has the dubious honour of being the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, and free media in the country is in its death throes,” Amnesty International said after Yucel’s arrest. Aydın Doğan, head of the Doğan Group, which publishes one of the country’s leading newspapers, the Hürriyet, was recently summoned to court after an article published by the paper indicated there was discomfort in the military about what was happening politically – a move interpreted as a call for the military to intervene in politics. Some observers have described the accusations levelled against some leading journalists as bizarre. Ahmet Şik, an investigative journalist who is in prison, was accused of propaganda on behalf of the Gülen network, even though he authored a book called The Imam’s Army that exposed the group’s corrupt practices. “It’s a bit like arresting Martin Luther King for being a member of the Klan,” said one rights worker. Cumhuriyet has also often reported on the damaging influence of the Gülenists, who once shared power with the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP). When the director of the newspaper’s board, Akın Atalay, returned from overseas to challenge the order for his arrest he was detained because investigators determined he was a flight risk. “We all know this is absurdity,” said Yarkadaş, the CHP lawmaker who recently visited the Cumhuriyet journalists in prison. “This is not rule of law. This is undermining the law. “The government is saying if you oppose the regime we are planning to plant in Turkey, you will find yourself in prison and we will isolate you from the outside world.” Media outlets also face financial pressures. Monitors say the government is leaning on businesses to avoid advertising in opposition newspapers in order to curtail their revenues. The result has been that the vast majority of mainstream outlets are either openly supportive of the AKP government or are mildly centrist in their politics. The only major opposition outlets are Cumhuriyet and Halk TV, a station close to the CHP, and Sözcü, a tabloid similar to the Sun in the UK. Opposition officials say the oppressive media environment has limited the debate around the referendum and masked many problems in the country, including a worsening economic crisis, high youth unemployment, spiralling tensions with the PKK, terrorism and foreign policy woes. They say the stifling of discussion [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource: mindanaoexaminer mindanaoexaminerMar 23rd, 2017

Turkey puts jailed U.S. pastor under house arrest

ISTANBUL, Turkey – A Turkish court on Wednesday, July 25, ruled to place an American pastor under house arrest after he spent almost two years imprisoned on terror-related charges, state media said, in a case that has raised tensions with the United States. Andrew Brunson, who ran a protestant church in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 25th, 2018

Turkey releases 2 more journalists in newspaper trial

SILIVRI, Turkey – Two Turkish journalists walked free from prison on Friday, March 9 after over a year behind bars in the trial on terror-related charges of staff from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, seen as a test of press freedom under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and investigative ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 10th, 2018

Turkey journalists reject 'terror' claims as trial opens

Turkey journalists reject 'terror' claims as trial opens.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 25th, 2017

Turkey tries anti-Erdogan journalists on 'terror' charges

Turkey tries anti-Erdogan journalists on 'terror' charges.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 24th, 2017

Tensions rising between Turkish, European leaders before elections – CNN News

Turkey and the Netherlands' diplomatic feud deepened Sunday with the Turkish president accusing the NATO ally of fascism, and declaring the Dutch would &'8220;pay the price&'8221; for harming relations. The Danish Prime Minister also entered the fray, saying he couldn't host a yet-to-be scheduled visit by his Turkish counterpart in light of &'8220;current rhetorical attacks&'8221; against the Dutch. Upcoming votes in Turkey and the Netherlands serve as a backdrop for the dispute: In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has cracked down on opposition &'8212; particularly journalists, academics and the public service sector &'8212; since a July coup attempt, is pushing an April referendum that would expand his powers. In the Netherlands, this week's general elections will pit a hardline anti-Islam candidate in a tight race against the incumbent prime minister. Erdogan is keen to rally the roughly 4.6 million expatriate Turks living in Western Europe, many of whom will be permitted to vote in the Turkish referendum. Following similar moves in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the Netherlands on Saturday barred a plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from entering the country, citing security concerns. Cavusoglu sought to address expats in support of the Turkish referendum. The Dutch also stopped Turkey's family affairs minister from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam. Protests broke out in both countries, and Erdogan responded by saying the Netherlands is &'8220;sacrificing Turkish-Dutch relations&'8221; and accused the country &'8212; which lost more than 200,000 of its citizens during Germany's World War II occupation &'8212; of Nazism. Rotterdam, where Cavusoglu hoped to speak, was especially hard hit by the Nazis. Next month, Turkish voters will cast ballots in a constitutional referendum that could change their government structure. If passed, it would transform the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one, effectively consolidating the power of three legislative bodies into one executive branch under Erdogan. Critics call the move anti-democratic and say it's indicative of Erdogan's drift toward authoritarian rule since the coup attempt eight months ago. Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party, or AKP, ministers have said those who oppose it stand with the coup plotters and terrorists. Cavusoglu has promised tenfold retaliation against the Netherlands, while Erdogan has likened the country to a &'8220;banana republic&'8221; and called for sanctions, according to the state-run Anadolu Agency. A Turkish diplomatic source told Anadolu that Dutch diplomatic missions in Ankara and Istanbul had been closed off due to security concerns. Meanwhile, the agency reported, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has told the Dutch ambassador, who is presently on leave out of the country, he need &'8220;not return for a while.&'8221; The Netherlands isn't the first nation Erdogan has accused of Nazism. Germany, too, became a target of Erdogan's Nazi comparisons after canceling Turkish rallies on its soil this month. Some 1.5 million Turkish nationals living in Germany are eligible to vote in the referendum, according to Anadolu. &'8220;I thought Nazism was over but I was wrong,&'8221; Erdogan said at the International Goodness Awards in Istanbul on Sunday. &'8220;What we saw in the last couple of days in Germany and Netherlands are the reflections of Islamophobia.&'8221; Turkey is overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim. Chancellor Angela Merkel issued a sharp rebuke, saying such comparisons serve only to belittle Nazi crimes. German-Turkish relations have been on a downslide of late. Among the incidents chipping away at the countries' security and economic partnership was last month's arrest of Die Welt journalist Deniz Yucel on terrorism charges, and Turkey bristled last year when Germany's parliament declared the 1915 massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians &'8220;genocide.&'8221; European governments have been especially critical of Erdogan's commitment to basic freedoms since the coup. The country jailed more journalists than any other country in 2016, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Also, nearly 140 media outlets have been shuttered, more than 41,000 people have been arrested and about 100,000 workers have been dismissed from public service positions. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter interrupted during uprising Affording Turkey some leverage in the international spat is its key role in a Syrian migrant deal in which Turkey will resettle one refugee for every refugee resettled in Europe. In November, responding to European Union freezing EU membership talks with Turkey, Erdogan threatened, &'8220;If you go too far, the border gates will be opened,&'8221; according to Anadolu. Amid Sunday's diplomatic turmoil, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen postponed a yet-to-be-scheduled visit from his Turkish counterpart. &'8220;Under normal circumstances it would be a pleasure for me to greet Prime Minister (Binali) Yildirim in Copenhagen,&'8221; Rasmussen said. &'8220;But with the current rhetorical attacks by Turkey against the Netherlands, a new meeting cannot be seen isolated from that.&'8221; The Danish government is observing developments in Turkey &'8220;with great concern as democratic principles are under considerable pressure,&'8221; he said. &'8220;A meeting right now would be interpreted as if Denmark is viewing developments in Turkey more mildly, which is not at all the case.&'8221; The prime minister's office said Danish representatives and Turkish officials had been discussing the possible meeting for several weeks. It would have been scheduled for later this month in Denmark. In the Netherlands, far-right politician Geert Wilders praised the decision to bar the Turkish minister from entering the country and credited his own party for the decision. The Netherlands is heading for a nationwide vote Wednesday, with concerns about Muslim immigration a central issue. Riding a populist wave that ushered Donald Trump into the [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 13th, 2017

I ‘worked’ with Salvador Panelo for Mrs. Marcos

“Time moves in one direction, memory in another.” -William Gibson NEW YORK CITY – I was privileged to be one of the few journalists from outside Metro Manila allowed to enter the Westin-Philippine Plaza hotel where former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos was billeted several days after arriving on November 4, 1991 from a six-year […] The post I ‘worked’ with Salvador Panelo for Mrs. Marcos appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsNov 14th, 2018

We worry on attempt to intimidate critical journalists

“Never do today what you can do tomorrow. Something may occur to make you regret your premature action.” – Aaron Burr NEW YORK CITY – It’s too early for opponents of Panay Electric Company (PECO) to celebrate even if the Senate Committee on Public Services chaired by Senator Grace Poe has already given the MORE […] The post We worry on attempt to intimidate critical journalists appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsNov 13th, 2018

Negrense journo wins int’l press award for independence

BACOLOD City – Inday Espina-Varona received the prestigious Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) Press Freedom Award for Independence in a ceremony honoring courageous journalists all over the world at the Getty Images Gallery in London. Varona’s sister, Mate Espina, confirmed the information in a press statement sent to media outfits on Nov 9, 2018. Varona, who […] The post Negrense journo wins int’l press award for independence appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsNov 9th, 2018

Jailed Myanmar Reuters reporters file appeal

YANGONG, Myanmar – Lawyers for two Myanmar Reuters journalists filed an appeal Monday, November 5,  against their 7-year jail sentence linked to their reporting on the Rohingya crisis, the news agency said. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were found guilty under a state secrets act in September after ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 5th, 2018

Crewmember ‘slashes’ boat captain’s throat

A FISHING boat crewmember was jailed after he allegedly slashed the throat of his boat captain at the Feeder Port of Estancia, Iloilo, evening of Oct. 20, 2018. The murder happened while the suspect, Primitivo Maru, 50, and the victim, Arnulfo Chavez, 42, both residents of Baod, Bantayan Island, Cebu, were both drunk. According to […] The post Crewmember ‘slashes’ boat captain’s throat appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2018

Journalists group seeks punishment for those who ordered Khashoggi death

ISTANBUL, Turkey – An Istanbul-based journalists' group on Saturday, October 20, demanded punishment for those who ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate. "We demand that not only the 18 men but those who commanded (the killing) are punished," said Turan Kislakci, head of the Turk-Arab Media ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 20th, 2018

Freed U.S. pastor heads home from Turkey, Trump thanks Erdogan

WASHINGTON DC, USA – An American pastor held for two years in Turkey on terror-related charges headed home to the United States on Saturday, October 13,where he was to meet with US President Donald Trump, who signaled an easing in the diplomatic crisis sparked by the case. Trump said he would ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsOct 13th, 2018

Turkey court frees US pastor

ALIAGA, Turkey — A Turkish court on Friday freed an American pastor held for the last two years, in a case that sparked a crisis in Turkey’s ties with the United States and trouble for its economy. The court in the western town of Aliaga convicted Andrew Brunson on terror-related charges and sentenced him to […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 13th, 2018

Court junks contempt case vs TDG reporter, 5 others

BACOLOD City – “The motion is bereft of merit.” This is how the Municipal Trial Court and Cities (MTCC) Branch 4 here described the dismissed contempt charges filed by a lawyer against six journalists of three dailies in the region. In a decision dated October 2, 2018, MTCC Judge Francisco Pando said: “the court finds […] The post Court junks contempt case vs TDG reporter, 5 others appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsOct 10th, 2018

Tanod jailed for farmer’s death

TAPAZ, Capiz – A 32-year-old tanod or village watchman was arrested for allegedly stabbing a farmer at Brgy. Abangay here, morning of Sept 17, 2018. Jordan and Hanna Joyce Glorian pointed to Jomar Posadas of Abangay village as the one who stabbed their brother Jonel Glorian of Brgy. Roxas Otso here, the police reported. According […] The post Tanod jailed for farmer’s death appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Dozens rally for jailed Reuters reporters in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar – Several dozen people rallied in central Yangon on Sunday, September 16, against the jailing of two Reuters journalists , lamenting the shrinking space for free expression in Myanmar despite the advent of civilian rule. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were sentenced two weeks ago to seven ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

Dozens rally for jailed Reuters reporters in Myanmar

YANGON, Myanmar--- Several dozen people rallied in central Yangon on Sunday against the jailing of two Reuters journalists, lamenting the shrinking space for free expression in Myanmar despite the advent of civilian rule. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were sentenced two weeks ago to seven years behind bars under the Official Secrets Act. The judgement sent shockwaves through the country's nascent community of journalists because it echoed life under the former junta, when the press was heavily censored and reporters routinely jailed. The ruling also sparked a global outcry against Myanmar's army and against de facto civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi for failing to speak u...Keep on reading: Dozens rally for jailed Reuters reporters in Myanmar.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 16th, 2018

EU blasts Myanmar’s jailing of reporters after Suu Kyi defense

STRASBOURG, France--- The EU's diplomatic chief on Thursday condemned Myanmar's jailing of two Reuters journalists, hours after the country's tarnished democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi strongly defended the men's treatment. A court in Myanmar jailed Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo for seven years last week for breaching the country's hardline Official Secrets Act while reporting on the Rohingya crisis. The trial was widely seen as a bid to muzzle the press, and the reporters' harsh sentences have attracted a chorus of international criticism. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini repeated a call for the reporters' immediate, unconditional release, saying they had not had a fair ...Keep on reading: EU blasts Myanmar’s jailing of reporters after Suu Kyi defense.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

Reuters pair in Myanmar not jailed because of journalism – Suu Kyi

HANOI: Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Thursday that two Reuters journalists jailed for investigating a massacre in Rakhine state were not convicted because they were journalists but because they broke the law. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were each imprisoned for seven years last week for breaching the [...] The post Reuters pair in Myanmar not jailed because of journalism – Suu Kyi appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsSep 13th, 2018

Guarding against radicalization of foreign maids in Singapore

SINGAPORE --- Lonely and seeking companionship, Indonesian maids have become targets for terrorist recruiters, who befriend and even romance them through social media. This phenomenon of maids being lured into terror networks is something religious groups here are taking steps to prevent. Yesterday, a group of around 250 Indonesian maids attended a screening of the documentary Pengantin, or Bride, at Alkaff Upper Serangoon Mosque. The documentary, made by Indonesian deradicalization advocate Noor Huda Ismail, tells the stories of three Indonesian maids looking for love - two of whom were later jailed for their involvement in terrorist-related activities. The documentary s...Keep on reading: Guarding against radicalization of foreign maids in Singapore.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 6th, 2018