Censorship at home, censorship abroad

Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reported on March 17 that their internet address was blocked from access in Turkey for the 33rd time and news website Demokrat Haber tweeted today that the had the same experience for a second time. DİHA’s original internet address diclehaber.com was blocked by Turkey’s telecommunications regulator, the TİB, on July 24, 2015 according to local reports. Demokrat Haber’s original address was blocked to access on January 28, 2016 alongside news websites sendika,org and Yüksekova Haber which were being blocked for the tenth and second times; local reports say. Blocking access to internet addresses and social media by TİB through selective court orders have been a constant problem for Turkey. Many Turkey citizens use Virtual Private Networks (VPN) or similar measures to mask their actual location to bypass the internet censorship in Turkey.

Der Spiegel reported also on March 17 that their Turkey correspondent Hasnain Kazim’s working permit was not extended and he had to be called back. Kazim had previous troubles in Turkey regarding his reporting; particularly interviewing a relatives of dead miners after a mine disaster and putting their angry statement at the president on a headline, which has led to his leaving of the country temporarily due to death threats.

Latest on ‘Insulting Erdoğan’ and other updates (Jan 5-25)

  • January 6: Columnist Hasan Cemal had the third investigation launched against him for “insulting” Erdoğan. Preeminent journalist Cemal faces another probe for ’insulting’ Erdoğan
  • January 19: Columnist Ahmet Altan also had the third investigation started against him for insulting the president. Ahmet Altan
  • January 25: The Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into CNN Türk for using the phrase “’Dictator’ on trial” in reference to a news story concerning discord between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. CNN Türk investigated for using ‘dictator’ in reference to President Erdoğan
  • Hürriyet has fired two editors back in November for using an inappropriate visual of the president by mistake (see Erdoğan left of Jesus, enjoying a chicken wing). An investigation is starte against the former Hürriyet editors Şermin Terzi and Aynur Kabayel only now, according to news reports of January 25. ‘Erdoğan’a hakaret’te bugün (2): ’13’üncü Cuma’ kurbanı gazetecilere soruşturmahurriyet-erdogan
  • An Article 301 trial (“insulting Turkishness”) is started against lawyer Tugay Bek who claimed the state is protecting the killers of murdered press worker kadri Bağdu. The first session will be heid in Adana on January 28.
  • Columnist Fehmi Koru, famous with his friendship with former President Abdullah Gül, is fired from the daily Habertürk on January 12. Fehmi Koru’nun Habertürk’teki yazılarına son verildi Pro-AKP columnist Gülay Göktürk is fired from the daily Akşam on January 13 Pro-gov’t columnist fired after mild criticism of AK Party
  • According to the daily Cumhuriyet, state owned banks have blessed pro government media with 1 billion 32 million 273 thousand TL worth of ads in the last five years while ignoring the opposition press. Kamudan havuza para akıyor
  • Pro-Hizmet news site Haberdar’s Chief Editor Said Sefa said his passport is cancelled and there is a travel ban put on him without a court order. Said Sefa’ya keyfi yurtdışı yasağı
  • Today’s Zaman reported: “A letter from journalist Mehmet Baransu, who is under arrest for releasing classified documents, has revealed how he is being forced to live in miserable prison conditions in his new “cell” in Mersin that appears to be a flagrant violation of human dignity.According to the Zaman daily’s news portal on Friday, Baransu’s prison letter relayed how he was made to spend a night in prison in a cold toilet with a broken window after being moved from an overcrowded cell in which he feared for his safety.” Journalist Baransu made to sleep in toilet cell in Mersin jail
  • Hürriyet Daily News reported: “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled for Turkey to be fined over a police raid on the office building of Nokta magazine upon a military court ruling in 2007, stating that the raid constituted a violation of human rights.” ECHR fines Turkey for 2007 raid of Nokta magazine