Reporters Without Borders urges Turkey to rescind draconian state of emergency decrees

A woman holding the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, one of the outlets ordered to close by a Turkish court. Photograph: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images
A woman holding the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, one of the outlets ordered to close by a Turkish court. Photograph: Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images


Date posted: September 21, 2016

Two months after responding to a coup attempt by declaring a state of emergency, the Turkish government continues to target journalists, pluralism and freedom of information. RSF is today publishing a report that details the many abuses and urges the government to return to democratic principles.

Released on the day that Turkey completes its first two months under the state of emergency, the report analyses the frontal assault on media independence launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Declared on 20 July, the state of emergency allows the authorities to bypass the judicial system, although it is less independent than ever, and to curtail defence rights. Many journalists have been arrested and charged on spurious grounds and without evidence of their involvement in the coup attempt.

Those who are arrested can be held in police custody for up to 30 days and can be denied access to a lawyer during the first five days.

Taking advantage of the state of emergency, the government has also ordered the permanent closure of more than 100 media outlets, including newspapers, radio stations and TV channels, drastically curtailing pluralism, which had already been under attack.

The state of emergency has also enabled the authorities to impose arbitrary administrative sanctions (withdrawal of passports and press cards) with the aim of discrediting hundreds of journalists and preventing them from working freely.

“Instead of following the example set by the Turkish people, who resisted the putschists on 15 July and defended democracy, the Erdogan government has pursued an ever-broader offensive against freedom of information in Turkey,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.

“The government is using the state of emergency to jail journalists and close media outlets that supposedly supported its former Gülen movement allies, thereby flouting the most fundamental freedom of expression and opinion. But the state of emergency is also being used to attack all opposition media outlets.”

Proclaimed five days after the 15 July abortive coup d’état, the three-month state of emergency allows the authorities to govern by decree. They are going after anyone suspected of “links” with the Gülen movement, which was immediately declared to have been behind the would-be coup.

Hundreds of journalists – not only those working for pro-Gülen media but also for other media outlets critical of the government – have been arrested, questioned, charged or dismissed.

This report was written by RSF Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, who was jailed for ten days in June for taking part, like many other leading Turkish media figures, in a campaign of solidarity with Özgür Gündem, a newspaper that defends Kurdish rights. It was summarily closed on 16 August under the state of emergency.

Turkey is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

Source: Reporters Without Borders , September 19, 2016


Related News

WikiLeaks reveals emails from the son-in-law of President Erdogan, ‘proving his connection to ISIS operation smuggling oil into Turkey’

WikiLeaks has released a tranche of more than 57,000 personal emails from the account of Turkey’s Minister of Oil Berat Albayrak, President Erdogan’s son-in-law. WikiLeaks alleges that the emails reveal ‘Albayrak’s involvement in organisations such as Powertrans, the company implicated in Isis oil imports’. The company has been implicated in oil imports from ISIS-controlled oil fields.

Bridge-building in ‘enemy country’ – Story of a Turkish asylum seeker in Greece

Erdogan’s aggressive policies, which have driven many Turks into exile, seem to have had an unintentional side-effect. “A bridge is being built between Turks and Greeks,” the English teacher says. “We’re learning to overcome prejudices and historical misunderstandings.”

Bilal Erdogan: Italy names Turkish president’s son in money laundering investigation allegedly connected to political corruption

Bilal Erdigan, son of the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, is under investigation in Italy for money laundering, in connection, it has been claimed, with the 2013 corruption scandal that rocked the Turkish political establishment. The Bologna public prosecutor has opened a file on Bilal Erdogan after a key opponent of the Turkish regime officially denounced the president’s son, alleging he brought in large amounts of money to Italy last September to be recycled.

Gülen’s followers banned from mosque in Germany

According to a video posted by Mehmet Cerit, the editor of Zaman Vandaag, an overseas subsidiary of the government-seized Turkish daily Zaman, a man is seen turning away the people whom he considered Hizmet members, just before the Friday prayer in a mosque in Germany.

Who was behind the Turkish Coup: Sufi Islamic Scholar Fathullah Gülen or the Regime itself?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has bluntly blamed it on the Hizmet movement, Gülen’s initiative for intercultural and interfaith dialogue and education in the country expanding across the world today. But for many immensely impressed by Gülen’s global humanitarian, social and Islam-based peace activism, it remains an obscure question as to how the former ally of his country is now blamed for the coup.

Something rotten within the government?

It stinks. This is the bluntest description of what the graft probe has revealed so far… So, regardless of the view of the issue as “Erdoğan vs the Hizmet movement,” it boils down to a battle between moral and immoral, clean and dirty, which is the real story of Turkey in the past 12 years. It was not the Hizmet movement, nor liberals, nor other reformists that brought the AKP to power; it was the average people of Turkey.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Corruption probe [in Turkey]

Turkish Airlines discriminates against critical newspapers on planes

Turkish police brutally torture suspect over Gulen links

Foreign Policy Magazine Interviewed Fethullah Gulen

Kimse Yok Mu launches large-scale aid campaign for Syrian refugees

Minister’s remarks on Gülen cause AK Party members to resign

Turkish Olympiad Finals add a festive air to Kiev

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News