Chronology of Events

August 2012

30 August 2012

Blow to impunity anticipated in editor's murder trial in Turkey
Source: IFEX
Date: 30 August 2012
Reporters Without Borders hails the progress that has been made in the investigation into local newspaper owner Cihan Hayirsevener's 2009 murder in Bandirma, a city southwest of Istanbul, and hopes that the trial of his alleged killers will be completed successfully, despite some foot-dragging and negligence. A similar determination is needed in the many other cases of attacks and physical violence against journalists in Turkey, most of which go unpunished.

Experts call on ministry to protect children from exploitation on TV shows
Source: Todayszaman
Date: 30 August 2012
Negative reactions to a song contest broadcast on TV -- in which young children are made to sing and dance in front of millions in the TV audience like adults -- are unlikely to cease soon. Pedagogues and child development specialists say the program is a form of “child abuse” and ask the Ministry of Family and Social Policy to take action to protect children from exploitation on the show “Bir Şarkısın Sen” (You are a song), the song contest that is broadcast once a week on the popular ATV channel.

29 August 2012

Source: RSF
Date: 29 August 2012
Reporters Without Borders hails the progress that has been made in the investigation into local newspaper owner Cihan Hayirsevener’s 2009 murder in Bandirma, a city southwest of Istanbul, and hopes that the trial of his alleged killers will be completed successfully, despite some foot-dragging and negligence.,43289.html

UPDATE: Syrian pro-government television airs interview with detained Turkish journalist
Source: International Press Institute (IPI)
Date: 29 August 2012
VIENNA, Aug 29, 2012 – A pro-government television channel in Syria has broadcast an interview with Turkish journalist Cüneyt Ünal, who said that he was captured by Syrian loyalist forces on Aug. 20 in Aleppo, Reuters reported.

28 August 2012

First woman war journalist to enter Arakan
Source: Andalou Agency
Date: 28 August 2012
The AA team, who arrived in the region to reflect the difficult lives of the Rohingya Muslims, includes the first woman war journalist Dilek Mermer.
A team from the Anadolu Agency (AA) continues to carry the voice of Rohingya Muslims, who took shelter in Bangladesh after fleeing incidents of violence in Arakan (Rakhine) state of Myanmar, to the rest of the world.

27 August 2012

Elusive Expert Report in Oda TV Trial Finally Reaches Court
Source: Bianet
Date: 27 August 2012
The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) finally released its expert report on the computers of three suspects standing trial in the Oda TV case. The report, however, proved to be just as enigmatic as it had remained elusive for the seven months that it took to prepare it.

Video of missing Turkish camera operator Unal released
Source: Andalou Agency
Date: 27 August 2012
The video footage of a Turkish camera operator who went missing in Syria has been broadcast on the Syrian national television channel, the Al Ahbariye.
The video footage of a Turkish camera operator who went missing in Syria has been broadcast on the Syrian national television channel, the Al Ahbariye, on Monday.

No! He Is a Journalist. And They Are Journalists!
Source: The Istanbulian
Date: 27 August 2012
The video footage of Turkish journalist Cüneyt Ünal who went missing in Syria has been broadcast on a Syrian national television channel.
Anyone who speaks Turkish can easily understand that Ünal was forced to memorize the prepared testimony, probably under torture.

26 August 2012

Greek daily gives away copies of Atatürk book
Source: Hurriyetdaily 
Date: 26 August 2012
Greek daily TeNea distributed copies of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's famous 1927 speech “Nutuk” under a new campaign devoted to speeches that changed the world, daily Milliyet reported.

24 August 2012

State TV censures dialogue on Alevis, Sunnis
Source: Hurriyetdaily 
Date: 24 August 2012
Turkey's state broadcaster TRT recently censured a section of dialogue discussing the sectarian affiliation of a movie character following his dramatized conversion to Islam, daily Hürriyet reported.

Trained journalists must cover wars
Source: Andalou Agency
Date: 24 August 2012
The demise of Japanese journalist Yamamoto in Aleppo has once again shown the necessity of training program for war journalism.

The Turkish media is free enough, Arınç
Source: Erkan’s field diary
Date: 24 August 2012
Those who say there’s no freedom of the press in Turkey are liars,’ Arınç says. AA photo
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has rebuffed criticisms that Turkey has problems in the area of freedom of the press, accusing those who say so of lying.
“Those who say there’s no freedom of the press in Turkey are liars. Those who say theirs is censorship in Turkey are liars. There’s enough freedom of the press in Turkey,” Arınç said late Wednesday on a live TV show on private news channel CNNTürk.

23 August 2012

Source: RSF
Date: 23 August 2012
Reporters Without Borders is very disturbed by the aggressive smear campaign that the Islamist and nationalist daily Yeni Akit (New Agreement) and its website,, have been waging in recent days against four leading journalists – Ali Bayramoglu, Cengiz Candar, Hasan Cemal and Yasemin Congar – because of their views on Turkey’s Kurdish issue. Politicians are also being attacked.,43270.html

Student detained for two and half months in Turkey, no formal indictment issued
Source: IFEX
Date: 23 August 2012
"I was snatched away from my home in the company of [security officials] bearing rifles. I have been under arrest for two and a half months without knowing why . . ."
Thus begins a letter to BIANET penned by Ezgi Özgün, a junior student in Dumlupinar University's Department of Public Administration.
Officials took Özgün into custody on 9 May 2012 during a raid on her home in connection with a security operation against the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C.) No one has ever told her why she was arrested. She has remained behind bars at the Sincan Women's Prison since then.
With an order of secrecy on her file and no formal indictment prepared against her, Özgün and her lawyer, Evrim Deniz Karatana, have been left in the dark as to the exact nature of the charges leveled against her. "Making propaganda for a terrorist organization" is their guess.
Officials asked Özgün a number of questions at the Ankara Prosecutor's Office during her interrogation, including the following:
- "You have issued a press statement demanding free education. Who exactly is making this demand?"
- "Are you attending the panels at the Education and Science Workers' Union (Egitim-Sen)?"
- "Did you attend the 1 May demonstrations in Taksim Square (in Istanbul) in 2011?"
- "Did you participate in the demonstrations in the town of Kürecik in [the eastern province of] Malatya against the [U.S.] missile shield [radar there]?"
"These are the reasons for my arrest, even though it is absurd to characterise demands for free education as an offense and question [me] about it," Özgün said.
"Since when does it constitute a crime to exercise a constitutional right? I am a student of public administration. It was the schools and academics of this state that taught me about constitutional rights, the equality of laws and that formal charges require evidence [to back them up] throughout my three years of education," she added.
On 10 May, law enforcement officials also arrested 21-year-old French citizen Sevil Sevimli, alleging that she was a member of the DHKP-C after she arrived in the northwestern province of Eskisehir as part of the Erasmus student exchange program. She was subsequently released, however, within the scope of the Third Judicial Package ratified on 5 July.
"I am only one of thousands of arrested students," Özgün said, adding that public pressure played a significant role in Sevimli's release.

Journalist sentenced to four and a half years in prison in Azerbaijan
Source: IFEX
Date: 23 August 2012
The Institute for Reporters Freedom and Safety (IRFS) condemns the sentencing of journalist Faramaz Novruzoglu to four and a half years in prison. This harsh sentence is clear evidence of the failure of the government to follow through on promised political reforms and a reflection of the ongoing repressive environment for those who oppose the regime, says IRFS.
IRFS calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to immediately release Novruzoglu and drop all charges against him, and to implement reforms to guarantee freedom of expression.
Faramaz Novruzoglu was sentenced to four and a half years in jail under Articles 220.2 (Appeals to mass disorder and violence against citizens) and 318.1 (Crossing protected borders of the Azerbaijan Republic without established documents or outside of border checkpoints). It is alleged that in 2011, ahead of the Great People's Day, an event organised on Facebook and scheduled to take place on 11 March, Novruzoglu, using the alias of Elchin Ilgaroglu, called upon citizens to riot, promising to burn himself during the action. In addition, he allegedly crossed the Azerbaijani-Turkish border and lived there illegally from November 2010 until October 2011.
Novruzoglu was also told to pay a 1350 AZN (approx. US$1700) fine imposed on him by a 5 November 2010 decision of the Narimanov District Court and 70 AZN (approx. US$90) in compensation for the expense of a forensic medical exam carried out during the last trial.
In a speech before the court, Novruzoglu claimed that his arrest is related to his articles "The whereabouts of Azerbaijani oil exported to Italy" and "Where do the candles imported from Russia go?", in which he was highly critical of the government. Regarding the charge under Article 220.2, Novruzoglu stated that he has never used the alias Elchin Ilgraoglu. Even scrutiny of his personal computer and three PCs taken from the internet café he usually visited did not reveal evidence of his use of the alias.
Novruzoglu also rejected the charge under Article 318.1, saying that he was not in Turkey during the time specified in the court decision, but did travel to Nakhchivan several times, going through Iran. He referred to stamps from border checkpoints in his passport, which he presented to the court. Novruzoglu also said he had already paid the fines and that the receipts verifying the payments had been given to the court.
The journalist alleged that his arrest is politically motivated and asked the judge to acquit him. The judge announced the decision against him after three minutes of deliberation.
Novruzlu will serve his jail sentence in a "strict regime" prison.
In response to the court decision, IRFS chairman Emin Huseynov said: "The verdict is yet another chilling indicator of the ever-shrinking space for free expression in Azerbaijan." IRFS believes the charges against the journalist were trumped-up, and his trial was held in violation of legal due process.
The organisation notes that law enforcement agencies recently suspended a similar criminal case under Article 281 (Public appeals directed against the state) against the young activist Elnur Majidli, who lives abroad, for his activities on social networking websites carried out to organise the 11 March 2011 Great People's Day and the 2 April 2011 Great Wrath Day.
IRFS deems it unjust to subject social media activists to trumped-up charges ahead of an upcoming Internet Governance Forum to be held in Azerbaijan in November 2012. Human rights activist Taleh Khasmammadov and journalists Zaur Guliyev and Vugar Gonagov are also currently in custody for their online activity.
IRFS notes that journalists in Azerbaijan are arrested for exercising their free speech rights on the internet, which is contrary to a declaration on Internet freedom adopted by the United Nations in June 2012.
IRFS additionally notes that 18 prisoners of conscience arrested in connection with the 2 April 2011 rally have so far been released, with the help of international human rights organisations. Only two prisoners of conscience, Shahin Hasanli and Vidadi Isgandarli, are still in prison.
IRFS calls upon the Azerbaijani government to release Faramaz Novruzoglu, along with journalists Avaz Zeynalli, Aydin Janiyev, Vugar Gonagov, Zaur Guliyev, Anar Bayramli and Nijat Aliyev, and to put an end to restrictions on freedom of expression.

22 August 2012

Investigations in Dink case settled out of court
Source: Hurriyetdaily 
Date: 22 August 2012
The Dink family lawyers say they will take the case to the ECHR after exhausting all domestic legal avenues one more time, while Dink’s brother Orhan Dink says ‘this was the scenario’s last scene.’
The Interior Ministry has revealed that the police officers investigated within the case of Hrant Dink’s assassination did not receive any judicial punishment apart from the forfeiture of pay and a reprimand.

21 August 2012

Regime forces capture Turkish journalist
Source: Hurriyetdaily 
Date: 21 August 2012
A Turkish journalist has reportedly been captured by Syrian al-Assad regime loyalists near Aleppo while covering Syria’s civil war.

 20 August 2012

Source:  The Istanbulian
Date:  20 August 2012
As BDP Hugs PKK, More Bombs Explode and Journalists Are The Victim, As Always In Turkey
In the last few weeks...
Firstly, a Syrian Kurdish group, which has links to PKK, seized the local administrations in northern Syria, thanks to a power vacuum created by Turkey's proxy war against the Assad regime.
Secondly, the PKK tried to imitate it and temporarily "controlled" some towns in southern Turkey, before Turkish security forces reclaimed them with casualties. PKK retailated with bomb attacks in western cities.

17 August 2012

Trolling or threat? Anti-Kurd hate speech on Twitter
Source: SES Türkiye
Date: 17 August 2012
Anti-Kurd comments that commonly trend on the social networking site Twitter may reflect a more serious social problem.
Trending topics mean a lot to Twitter users since the popular social media site displays phrases that are the most commonly used at the moment, both locally and globally. Therefore, it raised eyebrows when a tweet of "The best Kurd is a dead Kurd" was trending for nearly a day on August 10th.

15 August 2012

US chides Turkey on media
Source: Hurriyetdaily 
Date: 15 August 2012
There should be no thought crimes in Turkey and no one should be behind bars for what she or he thinks or says, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey has said, expressing Washington’s concerns about the deteriorating freedom of expression in Turkey.

13 August 2012

TRT refuses to imagine world without religion, censures Lennon song at Olympic ceremony
Source: The Daily News
Date: 13 August 2012
A presenter for Turkish state broadcaster TRT omitted part of iconic British musician John Lennon's lyrics that call for “no religion” during the broadcasting of the Olympic Games’ closing ceremonies, NTV reported on its website.
One of Lennon’s most famous songs, “Imagine,” was included in the Aug. 12 ceremonies and was translated into Turkish by the TRT presenter as it played in the background.
The verses of the song which called for people to imagine a world with no countries and no reason to kill or die for were correctly translated into Turkish, but the presenter skipped the part where Lennon sang for "no religion."
The presenter translated the remainder of the lyrics correctly.

Not the new media but corrupt managers are killing old media!
Source: Erkan’s field diary
Date: 13 August 2012
In the last couple of days:
6 columnists have been fired [link in Turkish] from Akşam daily.
1 very popular critical columnist at Radikal daily, Yıldırım Türker, has been censored and decided to quit.
Another, Tarhan Erdem, rumored to be censored, too…
Corruption has different angles. It might be political- and mostly political right now- or personal. On every occasion traditional media is doomed….

11 August 2012

A list of jailed journalists in Turkey:
Source: Erkan’s field diary
Date: 11 August 2012
Tutuklu Gazetecilerle Dayanışma Platformu’nun saptamasına göre 8 Ağustos 2012 tarihi itibariyle Türkiye cezaevlerinde tutuklu ve hükümlü bulunan 13’ü imtiyaz sahibi ve yazı işleri müdürü 83 gazetecinin isimlerini, görevlerini ve tutuklu bulundukları hapishaneleri; basının ve kamuoyunun, duyarlı kişi ve kurumların bilgisine sunuyoruz…
1- Abdulcebbar Karabeğ, Azadiya Welat Gazetesi Mersin Temsilcisi, Hatay Kapalı Cezaevi
2- Abdullah Çetin, Dicle Haber Ajansı (DİHA) Kurtalan Muhabiri, Diyarbakır D Tipi Cezaevi
3- Ahmet Akyol, Dicle Haber Ajansı (DİHA) Adana Muhabiri, Ceyhan M Tipi Kapalı Cezaevi, Adana
4- Ahmet Birsin, Gün TV Genel Yayın Koordinatörü, Diyarbakır D Tipi Cezaevi
5- Ali Buluş, Dicle Haber Ajansı (DİHA) Mersin Muhabiri, Karaman-Ermenek M Tipi Cezaevi
6- Ali Çat, Azadiya Welat Gazetesi Mersin Muhabiri, İskenderun E Tipi Kapalı Cezaevi
7- Ali Konar, Azadiya Welat Gazetesi Elazığ Temsilcisi, Malatya E Tipi Cezaevi
8- Aydın Yıldız, Dicle Haber Ajansı (DİHA) Mersin Muhabiri, Gaziantep H Tipi Cezaevi
Continue to read here

10 August 2012

Freedom of the press
Source:  Hurriyetdaily
Date: 10 August 2012
How Turkey lost its F-4 reconnaissance plane on June 22 is of course important. Was it shot down by Syria’s Russian-made advance air defense missile systems? Was it shot down by anti-aircraft fire by Syrians? Did a loyal Syrian woman miss her spoiled son and hit the Turkish jet with a slipper she threw at the boy? Or did a spoiled kid shoot down the Turkish fighter with a slingshot?

8 August 2012

Kurdish journalist released following judicial reform in Turkey
Source:  IFEX
Date: 8 August 2012
(BIANET/IFEX) - A court in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir ruled to release Ozan Kilinc, the former editor-in-chief of the Kurdish dailyAzadiya Welat, in compliance with new amendments that came into effect following the ratification of the Third Judicial Reform package by parliament and President Abdullah Gul on 2 July 2012. "I will resume [working as a] journalist from where I left off in spite of all the hardships and repression," Kilinc told BIANET after his release. 

There are, however, still about half a dozen other suits filed against Kilinc pending before the Supreme Court of Appeals. The prosecution has requested varying sentences for Kilinc in these trials, ranging from one to seven years in prison, but all of them pertain to the same charge of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization." 

Kilinc said he never abandoned journalism while serving time behind bars at a prison in the southeastern province of Bingol. "I was constantly writing in prison. I was writing news stories about ongoing problems at the prison and about the cases of other friends standing trial, and I was sending them to my paper. We were still trying to keep up this struggle even though we were [locked up behind bars]," he said. "I will resume covering the news from where I left off to show that the free press cannot be silenced," Kilinc added.

Columnist blasted online after piece on 'chestless, man-like' female Olympians
Source:  Hurriyetdaily
Date: 8 August 2012
Turkish columnist Yüksel Aytuğ caused an online firestorm on Aug. 8 after penning an article that criticized the Olympic Games for "killing womanhood."

UPDATE: Turkish court accepts indictment charging journalist Ahmet Şık with ‘insulting public officials’
Source: IPI
Date: 8 August 2012
VIENNA, Aug 8, 2012 – An Istanbul court accepted an indictment that reportedly charges Turkish journalist Ahmet Şık with being a member of a “terrorist organisation” and with threatening and defaming the judiciary, Reuters reported. The news agency said that Şık – who was released March 12 after more than one year in prison, but who still faces trial and a possible 7 1/2 to 15-year sentence in the ongoing Oda TV case – faces an additional seven-year sentence if convicted on the new charges.

7 August 2012

Radio host fined by RTÜK for criticizing officer’s rape
Source:  Hurriyetdaily
Date: 7 August 2012
The host of a radio show on Turkey’s Medya FM station has been fined by the country’s media watchdog for expressing on-air criticism against a police officer that allegedly raped a Russian woman.

Kurdish Journalist Released in Wake of Judicial Reform
Source:  Bianet
Date: 7 August 2012
A court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır ruled to release Ozan Kılınç, the former chief editor of the Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat, in compliance with new amendments that came into force following the ratification of the Third Judicial Reform Package in early July.

Source:  RSF
Date: 7 August 2012
The Diyarbakir criminal court today approved the release on parole of the journalist Ozan Kilinç, imprisoned since 22 July 2010 on charges of criminal propaganda.,43119.html

6 August 2012

The Media Association iftar dinner
Source: The Media association
Date: 6 August 2012
The Media Association is having its annual iftar dinner for its members and friends, on August 7, 2012.  The iftar will take place on the Beşiktaş campus grounds of Bahçeşehir University, which is hosting this iftar dinner party. Culture and Tourism minister, Ertuğrul Günay, is the guest of honor at the event.

5 August 2012

Erdogan Blamed Media Again and Insisted to Fight PKK Militarily
Source: The Istanbulian
Date: 5 August 2012
In the eastern province of Hakkari late last night, six Turkish soldiers and two village guards were killed while 15 troops were injured in an attack by suspected members of PKK, a terrorist organization according to Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
And what did Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan do?
He appeared on live TV this evening and criticized some newspapers, some columnists and the social media commentators for almost half an hour. Then, he elaborated on his remarks today, which he labelled Syria as one of the "enemy countries that hold PKK's strings into line."

3 August 2012

Five Turkish journalists wounded in Aleppo, latest danger zone for media personnel
Source: IFEX
Date: 3 August 2012
Anadolu photographer Sinan Gul sustained serious leg injuries from sniper fire
THIS IS AVAILABLE IN: English Français (RSF/IFEX) - 1 August 2012 - Five Turkish journalists were wounded two days ago while covering fierce fighting in the northern city of Aleppo. Three of them, working for the Turkish news agency Anadolu, were hit by sniper fire while the other two, employed by the Qatari satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera, were hit by shrapnel from a shell that exploded nearby.
“Journalists are now falling victim to violence in Aleppo, Syria's latest war front,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This week's incidents join a long list of attacks and cases of abusive treatment of journalists since the start of the uprising in Syria. They fuel concern about the danger for media personnel in the north of the country.
“The location of the most intense fighting has been moving around for the country for more than a year but one characteristic remains the same: journalists are very exposed and no one seems to be trying very hard to protect them. The safety of these foreign and Syrian news providers – reporters and their support personnel - must be guaranteed not only by the government forces but also by the rebel Free Syrian Army.”
Anadolu photographer Sinan Gûl sustained serious leg injuries from sniper fire while covering the Syrian air force bombardment of the Salah al-Din neighbourhood of Aleppo. The two other Anadolu journalists with him, reporter Samet Dogan and cameraman Kenan Yesilyurt, sustained less serious injuries. The three were able to return to Turkey yesterday.
“We went to the region to cover the military operations,” Gül said. “When the snipers began firing at us, there were no longer any soldiers from the opposing side with us. I thought the neighbourhood was safe because the soldiers had begun to advance. I nonetheless told Kenan not to move. I crossed the road in order to take cover behind a car and, at that moment, I was the target of intense gunfire. The snipers were aiming at me. I was hit in the foot and leg. They kept on firing at me. As I was protected by the car, I was not hit in the head but I lost a lot of blood.”
After being taken to Aleppo's Sifa Hospital, Gul was evacuated to the Sehit Kamil state hospital in the south-eastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, where a bullet was removed from his right leg. Late yesterday afternoon, he was transferred to Istanbul's Bahçelievler Hastanesi medical complex for a tissue graft.
The other two injured journalists, Al-Jazeera reporter Amr Khachram and cameraman Hakan Bayginer, are currently been treated in a hospital on the Turkish side of the border for the injuries they received from a shell while interviewing rebels. Doctors said that their condition was stable and that they would be able to leave the hospital in a few days.
These latest incidents involving journalists came three days after Dutch photographer Jeroens Oerlemans and British photographer John Cantlie were released by the foreign “jihadis” who had held them in their camp for a week after kidnapping them in Aleppo on 19 July.
The Free Syrian Army has a duty to protect journalists and their assistants and to ensure that there is no recurrence of the kind of incident experienced by British reporter Alex Thomson in June, when he says that rebels deliberately led him and other journalists into an area where the Syrian government soldiers were shooting everyone on sight.

2 August 2011

Turkish journalists kidnapped by PYD released in Aleppo
Source: Todayszaman
Date: 2 August 2012
Two Turkish journalists abducted on Wednesday by members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the political offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Syria, in Aleppo were released on Thursday.

Turkish journalists held by Kurdish group released
Source:  Hurriyetdaily
Date: 2 August 2012
Two journalists who have been captured by Members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are now released and back in Turkey, private broadcaster CNN Türk reported.

Two Turkish journalists released inAleppo
Source:  Cumhuriyet
Date: 2 August 2012
Two Turkish journalists who were detained on Wednesday by members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Aleppo, were released on Thursday.

1 August 2012

Two Turkish journalists detained in Aleppo
Source:  Cumhuriyet
Date: 1 August 2012
Two Turkish journalists were detained by members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Aleppo, Syria.