- HDN reported: “Prominent columnist Cengiz Çandar faces four years in jail for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in seven opinion pieces published on the Radikal news website.” Another Turkish columnist faces four years in jail for ‘insulting Erdoğan’
- T24 reported: A Diyarbakır court ordered blocking measures for 120 twitter accounts including those belong to media institutions daily Evrensel, Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Fırat News Agency (ANF), BestaNuce, daily Özgür Gündem and WelatNews. Evrensel ve DİHA’nın da aralarında olduğu 120 Twitter hesabına erişim engeli!
- Ankara Gölbaşı Court, famous for Internet block orders, again had several websites blocked from access in Turkey. Jin News Agency (JİNHA),Özgür Gün TV and news blog Jiyan’s current address is among them. Internet freedom activist Yaman Akdeniz’s tweet featuring the court order. Also, the twitter account of Odatv is blocked by the Gölbaşı court. Related tweet featuring the court order
- Today’s Zaman reported: “An investigation has been launched into Turkish journalists Hasan Cemal and Tuğçe Tatari, whose books have recently been banned from sale and distribution by Turkish courts, on suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities, according to a news report on the website of the pro-government daily Sabah.” Investigation launched into journalists for terrorism propaganda in books Also inculded in the report: “Another investigation was launched into Sözcü daily columnist Nasuh Mahruki on Wednesday on charges of insulting the president in an article that was printed in the daily’s Feb. 22 edition.”
- Bianet reported: “BirGün daily author Seray Şahiner has been sentenced to a punitive fine in amount of 800 euro for calling Bilal Erdoğan, son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “genius” in her article criticizing transforming schools into religious vocational high schools.” Punitive Fine for Calling Bilal Erdoğan ‘Genius’
- Today’s Zaman reported: “Kemal Ulusaler, a columnist with the Birgün daily, was given a suspended sentence of 11 months, 20 days on Tuesday on the charge of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in one of his columns.” Birgün columnist gets suspended sentence for insulting Erdoğan
- Bianet reported: “Prime Minister Davutoğlu has reacted in the press release following the bilateral talk held with German Chancellor Merkel against the journalist asking him about freedom of the press and imprisoned journalists in Turkey.” Davutoğlu Reacts Against Freedom of Press Question
- Former Today’s Zaman Chief Editor Bülent Keneş got sentenced to a 7080 TL monetary fine for insulting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu with his blog post titled “The Misery of Davutoğlu.” The fine is delayed under the condition of not repeating the offense for the next five years. Keneş wrote about this development on his column: Will Davutoğlu throw a copy of the Constitution at Erdoğan? Diken report: ‘Davutoğlu’na hakaret’te bugün (2): Gazeteci Bülent Keneş’e blog yazısından para cezası
- İdris Emen, a reporter for the daily Hürriyet and website Radikal, is on trial because of revealing a police officer’s name in a story he wrote. He faces up to three years if he would be finding guilty for “making targets of public service personel who combat terrorism.” The first hearing will be on February 26. Bianet reported. Gazeteci İdris Emen Üç Yıl Hapisle Yargılanıyor
- Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş claimed there is diversity in Turkey media today. “We are ready to listen to all well-intentioned words uttered by all parties with a view to empowering media and moving Turkey forward, and to even make joint efforts to elicit further opinions… There is media diversity in Turkey and there is a multitude of media outlets able to voice a variety of opinions on different platforms. This is Turkey’s gain.” KURTULMUŞ: MEDIA DIVERSITY IS TURKEY’S GAIN Kurtulmuş: Demokrasinin Durduğu Yerde Medya da Durmuştur
- Etyen Mahçupyan, former adviser to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, is fired from the pro-government daily Akşam. Mahçupyan is the latest example of pro-government opinion writers who have tried to mildly criticize the president or his close circle and lose their jobs. Akşam fires Mahçupyan over debates with proponents of presidential system
- A dog carcass is used as a method of intimidation against the daily Afrika, a newspaper published in the Turkish part of Cyprus. The bloody corpse of a dog is left outside Afrika newspaper’s offices Gazetecilere kesik köpek başıyla ölüm tehdidi
- Today’s Zaman reported: “A distinguished array of academics and journalists have sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu asking for imprisoned journalist Mehmet Baransu to be released.” World’s journalists, academics send letter to PM for release of Baransu
- Hürriyet Daily News Reported: “A lawsuit has been opened against Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin with a demand that the journalist serve five years in prison for “insulting president” due to a report in the daily.” Hürriyet editor-in-chief faces five years in prison for ‘insulting president’
- Today’s Zaman reported that the same court also accepted a similar case against former daily Zaman chief editor Ekrem Dumanlı: “A court in İstanbul accepted an indictment against former Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı and Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin on Dec. 15 for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in tweets, according to a report by the Zaman daily on Friday. The first hearing in the case is scheduled for March 25, 2016.” Journalists Dumanlı and Ergin to be tried for ‘insulting Erdoğan’
- Bianet reported: “DİHA website that is blocked as of July 25 has been censored 28th time.” 28th Access Block against DİHA Political news website siyasihaber.org also announced with this tweet that their website is blocked by TİB and they have a new address. It is their first time. According to this tweet featuring the court document from İnternet freedom activist Yaman Akdeniz, TİB blocked 8 other sites alongside siyasihaber.org and 10 twitter accounts. Social media accounts of Kurdish journalists and news sources have been systematically banned by TİB throughout the year.
- Cihan News Agency reported: “An İstanbul court rejected a request by the lawyers representing journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who are under arrest, for their release on Friday.” Request to release journalists Dündar and Gül rejected again
- Bianet reported: “Imprisoned journalist, Mehmet Baransu, has been fined on the grounds of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife, Emine Erdoğan; the court hasn’t postponed the penalty over ‘inclination to crime’.” Baransu Fined for Insulting Emine Erdoğan
- Today’s Zaman reported: “Bülent Ceyhan, the Millet daily’s former desk editor who was fired in early November by the trustees appointed to the İpek Media Group, appeared in court on Thursday on charges of insulting Interior Minister Efkan Ala” for
writing “in a report on April 29 that Ala had been using a state-owned private jet for his personal use despite not holding public office at the time.” Journalist Bülent Ceyhan faces trial for insulting interior minister
- Today’s Zaman reported: “The Turkish journalists Union (TGS) and the Pak Medya-İş union organized a demonstration in front of Silivri Prison on Thursday during which they called for freedom for their imprisoned colleagues.” Journalists welcome new year in front of Silivri Prison in support of jailed colleagues
- Harassing of Kurdish journalists continued as: “DİHA reporter, Merdan Berk, following up protests in Diyarbakır has been wounded in both of his legs.” DİHA Reporter Merdan Berk Injured in Both Legs & “[JİNHA] reporter Duygu Erol went to the street of Gazi where the curfew was lifted last week but still the siege of police continues,in order to cover the news. Police stoped and threatened her by using the sentences; ‘We’ll send you to the cemetery. if it was up to me, I would execute you.'” Police threaten our reporter! & Kurdsat News cameraman Baran Ok was detained on duty in Diyarbakır on December 31 and not released until January 4. In this video, his colleague is captured trying to convince the police to release Ok, saying “O benim Kameramanım” (He is my cameraman” which ended up as a hashtag on twitter for the demand of the journalist’s release.
- Today’s Zaman reported: “An İstanbul prosecutor has launched an investigation into the Sözcü daily for allegedly insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a puzzle published on the front page of its Jan. 1 edition.” Turkish daily faces investigation for ’insulting’ Erdoğan in puzzle
- Hürriyet Daily News reported: “A local court has decided to confiscate books by two prominent Turkish journalists after they were found during an operation on a cell where suspected militants of the outlawed Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H) were detained.” Three books, two by Hasan Cemal and one by Tuğçe Tatari are now likely to be confiscated from bookstores unless the journalists’ lawyers appeal against the decision is approved. Court rules to confiscate books by prominent journalists & Hasan Cemal ve Tuğçe Tatari yasaklı oldu!
- Some local news sites reported that journalist Zeki Karakuş (who owns a local news website named Nusaybin Haber with the address nusebin.com focusing on the Nusaybin District of Mardin) was arrested on December 1 for “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” and sent to Mardin Prison. Further information is not currently available due to hot clashes in the area. Nusaybin’de Yerel Gazeteci Karakuş tutuklandı
- Today’s Zaman reported: “Former Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş was released after being briefly detained by police officers from the İstanbul Police Department’s Counterterrorism Unit at İstanbul Atatürk Airport early on Friday morning.”Former Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Keneş released after brief detention
- Three journalists from daily BirGün received 11 month suspended jail sentence for “Murderer, Thief Erdoğan” headline. BirGün journalists get suspended sentence for insulting Erdoğan
- The cops who have battered a group of journalists while detaining currently arrested journalists İdris Yılmaz and Vildan Atmaca have filed a criminal complaints for resisting arrest. A total of four cops filed the complaint against Yılmaz, Atmaca and two others. The first hearing of the trial will be heard on January 26, 2016. Polisler, darp ederek gözaltına aldıkları gazetecilere dava açtı
- The police has hit DİHA journalist Beritan İralan on the leg with a gas pallet on purpose and then confiscated her medical report about the injury; according to the daily Evrensel. The journalist was covering the protests in Diyarbakır on December 9. DİHA muhabiri polisin gaz fişeğiyle yaralandı
- The daily Taraf is not paying regular wages to its staff for months now and currently fired five journalists illegally; according to the condemning statement by a local journalists’ syndicate. Çalışanların hakkını da sendikasını da yok sayan Taraf’ı kınıyoruz
- Reuters reported: “Turkey’s communications technologies authority, the BTK, has fined micro blogging site Twitter 150,000 lira ($51,000.) for not removing content it says is “terrorist propaganda”, a BTK official told Reuters on Friday.” Turkey fines Twitter for failure to remove ‘terrorist propaganda’: official
- Today’s Zaman reported: “İstanbul police on Saturday raided and searched the house of Samanyolu Broadcasting Group General Manager Hidayet Karaca, who has been behind bars in İstanbul’s Silivri Prison for almost a year, in what his lawyers said was an unlawful move to disturb the journalist’s family.” Police raid, search jailed journalist Karaca’s family home
- Hürriyet Daily News reported: “Seven window panels at the Doğan Media Center building in Ankara, which hosts the Ankara offices of daily Hürriyet and Hürriyet Daily News, broke at around 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. Windows of Hürriyet’s Ankara building shatter
- Bianet reported: “İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court has ordered the new case with 26 suspects regarding the murder of Hrant Dink to be combined with the main case file on the Istanbul 5th High Criminal Court.” Criminal Charges against Public Officers Combined with Primary Case on Dink Case
- In an interview with CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour on Nov. 9, Prime Minister Davutoğlu cited freedom of the press and intellectual freedoms as his personal redlines. “First of all, I was a columnist in the 1990s when I was in the academic life. So freedom of the press and intellectual freedom are redlines for me,” Davutoğlu said, in response to a question over concerns of a crackdown on the press by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the AKP’s founding leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “If there’s an attack on any intellectual or columnist or a journalist, I will be the advocate for that [issue]. I can assure you this,” he added.
- Bianet reporter Beyza Kural was manhandled by the police and almost detained while on duty. The act was captured on video as a cop says: “From Now on Nothing will be Like Before, We will Teach it to You“
- “Insulting” Erdoğan: Hürriyet Columnists Ertuğrul Özkök and Cengiz Çandar and t24 columnist Perihan Mağden were the latest additions to the long lists of journalists who “insulted” the president according to the prosecutors. Turkish columnist faces probe for ‘insulting Erdoğan’ – Ertuğrul Özkök’e 4 yıl hapis isteniyor –Perihan Mağden Cumhurbaşkanı’na hakaretten ifade verecek Özkök also had another “insult” investigation presented to court as an indictment regarding two AKP officials Hürriyet columnist faces 1.5 years in prison for ‘insulting’ senior AK Party official
- “Insulting” Davutoğlu: Bülent Keneş testified as a result of a criminal complaint from Ahmet Davutoğlu. Journalist Keneş testifies in court over charge of ’insulting’ PM Davutoğlu
- Main opposition party CHP’s leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized pro-gov columnist Cem Küçük who threatens his colleagues constantly: “Those words are a blow dealt on democracy. A journalist desiring his colleagues to be fired is an unprecedented incident in history of Republic. It is a proof that a Goebbelian regime has begun” Kılıçdaroğlu Slams Cem Küçük Who Threatens Aydın Doğan
- A regional bureau office of the Doğan news agency and the Ankara bureau of the NTV television station were raided on Thursday to protest a days-long curfew that has been in place in a southeastern Turkish province and the G-20 summit which is to be held in Turkey next week. Protesters raid media outlets over Silvan curfew, G-20
- Several dissident press organs were banned from watching the G20 Summit in Turkey WAN-IFRA condemns accreditation ban on critical media outlets for G-20
- Pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency’s web address is blocked for the 26th time; probably going for a record. Ajansımıza 26’ncı erişim engeli
- The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) has fined CNN Türk 225,000 euros for Tahir Elçi saying PKK is not a terror organization on Ahmet Hakan’s “Tarafsız Bölge” (Neutral Zone) program broadcasted on October 15. RTÜK Fines CNN Türk for Tahir Elçi’s Words
The prosecution has objected to the release of the six out of seven suspects regarding the investigation on the attack on journalist Ahmet Hakan. The higher court rejected the appeal on Wednesday.
Pro-government Sabah and its sister publication the Daily Sabah in English accused the rival media group Doğan with being hypocritical about press freedom due to the insult and defamation complaints Aydın Doğan has filed against pro-government journalists. “Journalists critical of Aydın Doğan and media groups including Daily Sabah’s parent company Turkuvaz Medya face a barrage of lawsuits by the media magnate and his news outlets seeking the imprisonment of journalists in a move criticized for hypocrisy as Doğan complains about the lack of press freedoms” Daily Sabah argued.
“The nine suspects who were sent to court over the allegations that they deliberately neglected intelligence that led to the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a renowned Armenian-Turkish journalist, have been released on Thursday” daily Sabah reported.
“Daily newspaper Sözcü’s Necati Doğru has become the latest journalist in Turkey to be found guilty of “insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail” Hürriyet daily News reported. The sentence is transformed into a monetary fine.
Pro-Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) leftist daily Birgün chief editor Barış İnce is fined 7500 TL for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan about reports on corruption allegations of the process known as December 17-25.” The Istanbul Second Court of First Instance sentenced the journalist today by the Penal Code amendment 125 for insulting an individual.
Meanwhile, pro-Hizmet Samanyolu News Group is sentenced to a total of 118.000 TL over their various reporting on Mehmet Görmez’s (President of Religious Affairs, the state’s official religion authority) one million TL worth car. The state has argued the car assigned to Görmez was one third of the claimed price but then it was documented otherwise and the subject was discussed in detail by politicians. The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) ignored the proof on the car’s actual price and fined the news group over a number of news stories.
Pro-Hizmet daily Zaman will pay 10.000 TL to Erdoğan for a story featuring the tweets of “Fuat Avni” the social media deep throat which is providing insider information from the government. According to the related tweets, the government would commit bloody crimes and blame them on Hizmet. Erdoğan’s lawyers have asked 100.000 TL as compensation but the Ankara 26th Court of First Instance said 10.000 TL is sufficient.
Dogan media and its flagship publication the daily Hürriyet has been targeted by the government by threats, criminal complaints and fines.
The AKP media has been accusing Doğan Media and its honorary chairman Aydın Doğan with a number of things for the last months. Pro-AKP columnist Cem Küçük has been among the ringleaders of this campaign:
Former Egypt leader Morsi having sentenced to death last week was reported on Hürriyet’s website with the headline: “execution for the president who was selected with 52%” and since Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was also elected with the same percentage he criticized the daily harshly; arguing that the Dogan group wants him executed. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also joined Erdoğan in the criticism. Hürrriyet responded with the following statement:
Also recently, PM Davutoğlu and the AKP media has accused Hürriyet with a defemation campaign against a political party. Hürriyet Chief Editor Sedat Ergin has responded as such:
Moreover, a AKP lawyer filed a criminal complaint; demanding the arrests of Hürriyet editors:
Lastly; Hürriyet was sentenced to pay Eroğan 20.000 TL on May 21 due to a column they published last year.
Government media watchdog RTÜK fined three TV channels for being “provocative” by broadcasting a video of a cop shooting a minor citizen.
CNNTürk, FOX TV and Halk TV got fined for video coverage of police shooting 12 years old Nihat Kazanoğlu at Cizre on January 14 according to a daily Evrensel report on February 25.
According to the RTÜK, the channels repeated the playback of the video too many times and it was “provocative”, it has “no value for the public good” and “saddening for the child’s family.”
RTÜK, Turkey’s official media watchdog, fined Fox TV, Samanyolu, STV Haber, Bugün TV, Bengütürk and Halk TV for reading newspaper stories on air. The mentioned stories were about the corruption allegations against the government.