Chronology of Events

July 2011

1 July 2011

IPI Condemns Turkish Prosecutors’ Demand for Footage from Media Organisations

VIENNA – The International Press Institute (IPI) today criticized Turkish prosecutors’ attempt to force media organizations to hand over footage and photographs of an anti-government demonstration in May and the subsequent funeral of a man who died in the protest. More…

Press release put out by the International Publishers Association calling for the immediate acquittal of the trial against publisher Irfan Sanci:

4 July 2011

Greek crisis hits press in Istanbul

One of Turkey’s oldest newspapers, the Apoyevmatini, a four-page Greek language daily, is facing closure after 86 years in operation due to financial problems, aggravated further by the economic crisis in Greece.

the new chair of Turkey Journalists associeted senate, Sedat Ergin said: journalism in Turkey is in the t the most distressed (annoying) term of it's history.  

5 July 2011

Magazine fined, forced to shut down

The Children's Protection Board ruled that some drawings in the satiric "Harakiri" magazine were harmful to children. The magazine was handed down a TL 150,000 (approx. € 75,000) fine that forced the owners to cease publication for good after the second issue. Renowned Turkish caricaturists, including Bahadir Boysal, Serhat Gurpinar, Behic Pek and Cezmi Ersoz, had contributed to the monthly magazine. 

6 July 2011

Former TV watchdog chief detained in fraud case

ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires The former head of Turkey’s television watchdog, as well as the executives of a TV station, were detained Wednesday in an ongoing embezzlement case. More…

Freedom House and other rights organisations launch lifeline for embattled NGOs

An international consortium, which includes IFEX member Freedom House, has set up the "Embattled NGO Assistance Fund" to help support non-governmental organisations under threat around the world.  More…

7 July 2011

A new trial against a journalist from the town of Antakya

8 July 2011

Anonymous boasts takedown of 74 Turkish government sites

Hacktivist group Anonymous has claimed the government of Turkey as its latest victim, taking down 74 web sites and releasing a collection of data said to be harvested from more than 100 Turkish government domains.

Milliyet columnist receives Turkish-Armenian Journalism Award

Milliyet columnist Kadri Gürsel received the first Turkish-Armenian Journalism Award given by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Global Political Trends Center of Kültür University and Yerevan Press Club on Thursday.

Trial adjourned for prominent journalist

An Istanbul court has decided to adjourn the case of a prominent journalist who is accused of “violating the confidentiality [of an investigation] and influencing a judicial trial by means of the press.”

At the Bonjovi concert in İstanbul, Turkey; the opening group Redd was on the stage with makets of prisoner journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener.

10 July 2011

Fenerbahçe board warns about lynch campaign

ISTANBUL- Daily News with wires
Sweating in a match-fixing investigation, Fenerbahçe board members express concern saying the media was creating a lynch campaign against the club and the police is not maintaining confidentiality of the case
The Fenerbahçe board responded to match-fixing allegations with a press conference Saturday, where it expressed concern and said certain segments of the media had created a lynch campaign against the football team. More…

11 July 2011

IFJ condemns attack against Turkish Cypriot journalist

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the European group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), today condemned the attack against prominent Turkish Cypriot journalist and publisher Sener Levent by a gunman who forced his way into the offices of Afrika newspaper on Sunday, threatening Levent's life. The EFJ accused the Turkish authorities of not taking the threat seriously after local reports revealed that this was the second time the attacker targeted Levent and his newspaper.

Barış TERKOGLU, Journalist
To Whom It May Concern,

In recent years Turkey has become a current issue with many intrusions of human rights and freedoms, first and foremost, of freedom of press. According to the estimations of IPI and OSCE, in Turkey there are 57 journalists under arrest today. Turkish press organizations state that the real number is 68. The report on freedom of press by Freedom House sets Turkey on 112th place in the list of world-scale freedom of press record. This record indicates that the situation in Turkey approaches to that of African countries such as Kenya, Senegal and Uganda, in contrast with mainstream analysis which present Turkey as a model for rising democracy. But through which processes have Turkey passed before coming to this point? How has the press been repressed? How have the journalists, including the author of this text, been put into jail? 
More... here

Turkey jails former head of state media regulator

A Turkish court has jailed the former head of the state media regulator and three others pending trial in an investigation into embezzlement at an Islamic charity, state-run Anatolian news agency said on Monday.
Police had detained Zahid Akman, former head of the RTUK state media regulator, and three senior executives of the Kanal 7 television channel on Wednesday. More…

Yesterday (10 july 2011), TGS (Turkey Journalists Syndicate) organised a protest and declared 10 July as solidarity day for journalists.

12 July 2011

Turkey’s sole Greek daily off the hook

Turkey’s only Greek-language daily will continue to publish after an Internet campaign saved the 86-year-old Apoyevmatini from bankruptcy. More…


Freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey

Richard Dawkins’ website back online

A court in Istanbul’s Kadiköy district issued a ruling that restored access to the website of world-renowned British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and writer Professor Richard Dawkins after a court-ordered two-year ban on charges of libel against a Turkish creationist.


13 July 2011

University provides staff Kurdish class

A state university in southeastern Turkey has become the first in the country to provide Kurdish-language classes for its new academic staff to help them adapt to life in the area.

14 July 2011

The Balkans look good…from Istanbul

Opportunity is in the eye of the beholder. The global investors who never spare a thought for the Balkans are going to miss out on some great money-making prospects, says Philip Khoury, am Istanbul-based “frontier” market specialist.

Kurdish group declares democratic autonomy within Turkey's borders

The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a platform that brings together Kurdish non-government organizations, met and declared “democratic autonomy” within Turkey's territorial integrity in Diyarbakır on Thursday.

Kurd rebels ambush Turkish soldiers; 20 killed in clash

(Reuters) - Kurdish fighters killed 13 Turkish soldiers in an ambush Thursday and seven militants died in the firefight that marked the worst clash since the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) ended a cease-fire in February.

President Gül shares Bulgarian trip on Twitter

President Abdullah Gül shared details and photographs of his trip to Bulgaria on social networking website Twitter on Wednesday.

According to the Turkey Journalists Association:

The Turkey Journalists Association 2011 Press Freedom Award has been given to the organisation GÖP (Freedom for Journalists Platform) and the personal award has been given to Ahmet Sik (imprison journalist) and Ercan Ipekci.

15 July 2011

Investigation into the declaration of democratic autonomy

DİYARBAKIR (DİHA) - The Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor has opened an investigation into the Democratic Community Congress’ (DTK) declaration of democratic autonomy that was given yesterday. The prosecutor considered the news as sufficient evidence to open the investigation and asked police department to hand over the recordings of the meeting.

Charges of corruption in Turkish football go to the top

While the football world is no stranger to heckling, name-calling and accusations of cheating, it's not every day that accusations of fraud come from a federal prosecutor and target the highest ranks of the country's largest sports clubs.


According to  Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists Platform (TGDP):
Halkın Günlüğü Journal İzmir correspondent İsmail Avan has been detained and
accused of promoting a terror organisation. 
According to Necati Abay (TGDP Anouncer), İsmail Avan has been released on 18
July 2011.

According to Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists Platform (TGDP):

Halkin Günlügü Journal Izmir correspondent Ismail Avan has been detained and accused of promoting a terror organisation.

16 July 2011

Child prisoners’ hunger strike continues

URFA (DİHA) –Eight child prisoners insisted on continuing a hunger strike that began on Tuesday in Urfa’s E-Type Prison. They are demanding to be transferred to the political prisoners’ barrack from the non-political prisoners’ barrack.


Clinton seeks closer Turkey ties after strains

(Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday that Turkey could serve as a democratic model for the Middle East but warned about Ankara's efforts to limit media and restrict freedom of expression.


USA Secretary of State Clinton met with the Turkish business world

As part of her Turkey visit, USA Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TÜSİAD) President Ümit Boyner, Private Industrialist and Businessmen Association (MÜSİAD) President Ömer Cihad Vardan, All Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TÜMSİAD) President Hasan Sert, TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Council President Aynur Bektaş and Coca Cola Turkey President Galya Molinas at the Conrad Hotel in Istanbul.


Human rights violations increase in first half of year

DİYARBAKIR - The Human Rights Association (İHD) revealed the deep and worsening human rights situation in the Kurdish region of Turkey. The İHD reported 16,482 human rights violations in the first six months of this year, which is up from 13,219 cases over the same period last year.

18 July 2011


In order to comprehend why the Internet is a political and social formation platform today in Turkey, one should remember that the fundamental instincts orienting the activities of Turkish right wing policies in culture industries are fed by discursive practices such as “preservation of national custom and traditions”, “appropriation of national culture” or “objection to the corruption of national values”. At this point, it should be noted that the discursive practices of the right wing targeting culture industries were gradually fleshed out with “Turkish-Islamic synthesis” after 1980 coup d’état and that the ideologists and culture industries’ instruments that were to popularize these discursive practices were supported by the State itself.

Azerbaijani, Armenian, Turkish academics come together in new journal

An Ankara-based academic journal that aims to discuss policy-making in the Caucasus launched its first issue Friday with articles from Armenian and Russian experts, as well as Azeri and Turkish academics.

Zipped-Lips in Turkey’s Media

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Istanbul this weekend, rapped Turkey’s government for suppressing press freedoms. She had in mind the jailing of reporters and closure of internet websites.

According to Necati Abay (TGDP Anouncer), Ismail Avan has been released on 18 July 2011.

Accordingly The Wall Street Journal:

Last week, Banu Guven sent an open letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accusing him of promoting a culture of self-censorship in Turkey's media, after she herself was fired by independent broadcaster NTV. Her letter swept through Turkish social media networks.

19 July 2011

Women to march against female homicides and violations

İSTANBUL (DİHA) – Hundreds of women are murdered by their families each year in the name of “family honor.” It's difficult to get precise numbers on this phenomenon of so-called “honor killings;” the murders frequently go unreported, the perpetrators unpunished, and the concept of family honor justifies the act in the eyes of some societies.

2 Convictions at 2 Courts for 1 "Offence"

One press release was reason for two convictions of pro-Kurdish politician Uzun. One court charged him with "propaganda for an illegal organization", the other court found Uzun guilty of both propaganda and "committing a crime on behalf of an illegal organization".

Turkey to "freeze" EU ties during Cypriot presidency

ANKARA -- Turkish PM Recep Erdogan has said his country would "freeze" its relations with the EU when Cyprus takes over as the organization's presiding country.

Political Youth Magazine Banned for 1 Month

The publication of the Yeni Demokrat Gençlik Magazine was suspended by the order of the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court by reasons of "praising crime and a criminal" and "spreading propaganda for the PKK".

Lift ban on Demir, prosecutor demands

After the test scandals, Ali Demir is  being called to resign by thousands
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has asked the Council of State to lift a ban on investigating the controversial head of the Student Selection and Placement Center, or ÖSYM.

Broadcasts from Turkish Parliament Partly Cut

Live broadcasts from the Turkish parliament were now limited to 5 hours 3 days a week. The Parliamentary Television Presidency declared that the new application was not related to a request of the ruling AK Party. It was not explained why the protocol between TRT and the parliament was not renewed after 16 years.

CHP leader slams the ‘partisan press’

Turkey’s main opposition has criticized members of the pro-government media – commonly referred to as the “partisan press – for reporting that the party’s leader met with “the wives of individuals arrested as part of the Sledgehammer and Ergenekon cases.”

US official criticizes Turkey’s Internet ban

A top State Department official reiterated U.S. concerns about the Turkish government’s restricting of Internet freedom through blocking websites and a filtering system it plans to introduce. Speaking at a forum on Internet freedom held in the House of Representatives complex in Washington, Daniel Baer addressed the fact that more than 5,000 websites, have been blocked in Turkey.

US envoy asks Turkey to pass two terror laws

A day after the newly appointed CIA chief visited Ankara, the U.S. envoy to Turkey has called on the Turkish Parliament to swiftly pass two terror-related laws when reconvening in October for the new legislative year

Turkish PM slams EU, threatens to freeze ties

EU-candidate Turkey would not accept Cyprus in the post of the rotating EU presidency, which it is due to assume in July 2012, without a deal to end the island’s division, PM Erdogan says ahead of his official visit to northern Cyprus.

According to BIA:

Yeni Demokrat Gençlik Magazine has been closed for one month. The magazine has been accused of promoting the terror organisation PKK.

Broadcasts from Turkish Parliament Partly Cut

Live broadcasts from the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) were limited to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 2.00 and 7.00 am. Sessions at any other time and meetings of party factions will no longer be transmitted. The change reportedly marks the first time in 16 years that sessions will not be broadcast live. TBMM TV representatives denied the change was related to a request by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), but others criticized the move as a response opposition speeches characterized as "propaganda."

Ruling AKP Initiated Reduction of Parliament Broadcasting

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later admitted that the AKP requested the reduction of live broadcasts.

20 July 2011

Indictment implies Ergenekon spread plagiarism rumors about Dinçer

An indictment in the case against Ergenekon, a political crime network allegedly preparing to topple the government, implies that members of Ergenekon spread rumors that Education Minister Ömer Dinçer had acquired his title of professor through a plagiarized dissertation.

According to Cumhuriyet Journal:

Imprisoned internet journalists (odatv) have applied the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) to object qualifications and the nature of the crimes "as the reason for arrest, the current state of evidence, the scope of the investigation file, the contents of the minutes of detection of the communication, before, under the alleged Ergenekon Investigation Room TV 'seized in searches made in the petition mentioned documents and information shown in this decisions are abstract, general, and the mold formed defended statements.'e+gidiyor

21 July 2011

Second Threat against Evrensel Newspaper

The Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT) reiterated their threat against the Evrensel ('Universal') newspaper via e-mail. The message warned the newspaper and collaborators to leave the country by 15 August, threatened "operations wherever necessary" and declared that the group would "strive after a Turkey that is a hundred percent Turkish".

Journalist Nedim Sener applied to the European Court of Human Rights claiming violations of the European Convention on Human rights regarding "the prohibition of torture", "the right to liberty and security" and "the right to freedom of expression". He requested that the court suspend his detention as an interim measure.