More trials pile up

The next day (Wednesday 21 September) we arrived at the Caglayan Court of Justice in Istanbul which was hearing 5 different prosecution cases against journalists. We were originally told that there would only be one! Again we were with the IFJ/EFJ affiliates TGS (Journalists Union of Turkey), DISK-Basin-Is (Journalists Union of Turkey from DISK) and TGC (Journalists Association of Turkey) to observe the following cases:

The first was the appeal in the MIT Trucks case where journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül working for Cumhuriyet newspaper had been sentenced to 5 years in jail for revealing state secrets and arms trafficking between Turkish intelligence services (MIT) and Syrian armed rebel groups. The appeal hearing was held in secret but this did not put off the many supporters, including Can’s wife, who turned up to the court. Can was not present as he is currently living in Germany (see my 16 August blog) and has said that he will not consider returning until after the state of emergency has been lifted. A further hearing has been ordered. Continue reading More trials pile up

Defending journalism in Turkey

Last week I was on a mission to Turkey on behalf of the International and European Federation of Journalists to observe a number of trials of journalists, which have been on the increase since the failed coup of 15 July and the three month state of emergency introduced on 21 July. Under the state of emergency some 131 media organisation including three news agencies, 16 television channels, 23 radio stations, 45 daily newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishing houses have been closed according to Early Day Motion 474 tabled in the UK parliament on 15 September. The authorities can also hold suspects in detention without charge for 30 days with journalists frequently detained. Continue reading Defending journalism in Turkey