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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

At least 251 journalists jailed globally – CPJ

  MANILA, Philippines – At least 251 journalists are behind bars for doing their work, according to a Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) report released Thursday, December 13. China, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia imprisoned more journalists this year than in 2017, while Turkey remained the world's worst jailer for the third year in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 13th, 2018

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

Comelec announces local absentee voting for media, gov’t workers

By: Gail T. Momblan THE Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the province of Iloilo said journalists, government employees, and security forces can apply for absentee voting for the May 13, 2019 midterm polls. Comelec-Iloilo provincial election supervisor Roberto Salazar said media practitioners, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), and other government employees who will perform their duties […] The post Comelec announces local absentee voting for media, gov’t workers appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsJan 17th, 2019

Nairobi terror attack: gunfire heard hours after minister declares scene secure – The Guardian

GUNFIRE AND explosions have been heard at a Nairobi hotel and office complex, more than 16 hours after Islamist extremist […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 16th, 2019

Trump says he will ‘devastate Turkey economically’ if it attacks Kurds -The Guardian

DONALD TRUMP has warned Turkey of economic devastation if it attacks Kurdish forces in the wake of the US troop pullout […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJan 14th, 2019

2 Reuters newsmen lose appeal vs 7-year imprisonment | The Manila Times Online

YANGON: Two Reuters journalists jailed for seven years while investigating atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Myanmar had their appeal dismissed Friday, dismaying colleagues and tearful fami.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJan 13th, 2019

Knicks Kanter to skip London trip, fearing Erdogan reprisal

By Greg Beacham, Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) — New York center Enes Kanter will not travel to London for the Knicks’ upcoming international game because he believes he could be assassinated for his opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Kanter announced his plan Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) after the Knicks’ 119-112 win over the Lakers. The Knicks later said Kanter also won’t make the trip because of a visa issue. Kanter will stay in New York while the Knicks travel to face Washington at The O2 arena in London on Jan. 17 (Jan. 18, PHL time). He says he can’t travel anywhere except the U.S. and Canada because “there’s a chance I could get killed out there.” “Sadly, I’m not going because of that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president,” Kanter said. “It’s pretty sad that all the stuff affects my career and basketball, because I want to be out there and help my team win. But just because of the one lunatic guy, one maniac, one dictator, I can’t even go out there and do my job. It’s pretty sad.” Kanter has been a vocal critic of Erdogan for years, once referring to him as “the Hitler of our century.” Kanter’s Turkish passport was revoked in 2017, and an international warrant for his arrest was issued by Turkey. Kanter is a follower of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric accused by Turkey’s government of masterminding a failed military coup in 2016. Kanter said it would be “easy” for an attempt on his life to be made in London. “They’ve got a lot of spies there,” he added. “I think I can get killed there easy. It would be a very ugly situation.” Kanter’s father, Mehmet, was indicted last year and charged with “membership in a terror group.” The former professor lost his job after the failed military coup even though he publicly disavowed his son and his beliefs. “People often ask me why I continue to speak out if it’s hurting my family,” Kanter wrote in a column for Time magazine last year. “But that’s exactly why I speak out. The people Erdogan is targeting are my family, my friends, my neighbors, my classmates. I need to speak out, or my country will suffer in silence.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2019

Myanmar court to hear Reuters reporters appeal

YANGON, Myanmar – A Myanmar court will hear the appeal later this month of two Reuters journalists jailed for their reporting on the Rohingya crisis, a lawyer said Saturday, December 8. Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were found guilty under a state secrets act in September after exposing ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

Campus journalists told to uphold truth to fight wrong info

PHILIPPINE Information Agency (PIA) Director-General Harold Clavite said campus journalists play a significant role in the fight against misinformation and disinformation. In a video message shown during the recently concluded College Press Conference and Awards 2018 held at The Mansion Hotel in Iloilo City, Clavite said campus journalists have more knowledge on social media, which […] The post Campus journalists told to uphold truth to fight wrong info appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsDec 7th, 2018

Gov’t steps up fight vs media killings

By: Gail T. Momblan THE government has committed its full involvement in solving cases of media killings and violence in the Philippines, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said. Undersecretary Jose Joel Sy Egco, PTFoMS Executive Director, said the country improved in the global impunity index for journalists for its relentless efforts in the fight […] The post Gov’t steps up fight vs media killings appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsDec 6th, 2018

FROM UNDER THIS HAT | NUJP cautions solons on proposed HSA amendment

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines urges lawmakers not to be hasty in accepting a proposal to empower the Department of Information and Communication Technology to shut down social media accounts deemed “inimical to national interest” in amendments being considered to the Human Security Act of 2007, or the anti-terror law......»»

Category: newsSource:  nordisRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2018

Ilonggo journalists demand justice for Ampatuan Massacre

By: Gail T. Momblan THE shout for justice echoed in Iloilo City as members of the local media and cause-oriented groups gathered to commemorate the death of 32 journalists in the Nov 23, 2009 Ampatuan Massacre. The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) recalled the worst poll-related violence in the country. NUJP’s official statement […] The post Ilonggo journalists demand justice for Ampatuan Massacre appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsNov 24th, 2018

Turkey jails academic after raids over imprisoned philanthropist

ISTANBUL, Turkey – A Turkish court on Sunday, November 18, jailed pending trial an Istanbul academic following raids on professors and activists deemed to have links to a prominent financier of civil society activities who has been imprisoned for the past year. The United States and EU had expressed concern over ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 19th, 2018

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