Tag Archives: journalism

Turkish Media

By Leon J Williams

When I mention the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons/Teyrêbazên Azadiya Kurdistan (TAK) to Turkish people living in Turkey they seem to have never heard of them. Instead stating that all ‘terrorist’ activities carried out in Turkey are the work of the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party/Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan).
Why do the Turks think this? Because of the Turkish media, they are told that it is the work of the PKK and the fact that the TAK are FORMER members of the PKK seems to be hidden away from the public.

I was reminded of this issue this morning when I read an article from the Turkish tabloid Hürriyet Daily News with seeming ‘good news’ about Turkey’s progress in its EU application, further reading confused their own audience with some of the comments reading:

“I did not understand exactly what this means, Will they open new chapters or not?”

“Is it really what the headline says, to me it sounds like another delay”

I flicked over to EuroNews only to find an almost opposite headline about the same story…

Turkish Media

Left: EuroNews Right: Hurriyet Daily News

Turkey guilty of torturing journalists

By Leon J Williams

RWB Turkey EU flagTurkish police officers get 10 month in prison for torturing a journalist.

12 years ago Şenol Gürkan was tortured while in police custody for ‘being a terrorist’.

The officers were originally sentenced to 1 year in prison however that sentence was overturned by the Turkish Supreme Court.

So after 12 years and being defended by the Turkish Supreme Court the police officers get just 10 months for torture.

At the beginning of the month I wrote about Reporters Without Borders’ Press Freedom Index (PFI) in which Turkey performed woefully. Sadly this is not set to change, Turkey’s attitude towards journalists and anyone who speaks out against the government is of huge disdain and hatred.
Turkey continues to clamp down on anyone with opposing views and ignore those who attack proponents of free speech.

Turkey has been accused of not adhering to international standards over the definition of terror and terrorists.
The US ambassador to Turkey said “In Turkey, most definitions or terrorism focus on attacks against the Turkish state and the definitions are less clear when it comes to international terrorism”

Imprisonment and torture of journalists and proponents of free speech remains wide-spread in Turkey.

The European Federation of Journalists President Arne könig has said that the terrorism charges against Turkish journalists by the Turkish state was “shocking to hear”. Mr könig went on to say “It was shocking for us to hear that normal journalistic activity can be considered illegal and an act of terror”

Turkey and Belarus; Embarrassments of Europe

By Leon J Williams

RWB Turkey EU flagReporters without borders’ Press Freedom Index (PFI) for 2012 shows a shocking but painfully accurate picture of press freedoms around the world.

As with most tables and indexes there are no real surprises, the top positions are filled with European countries (in particular Scandinavian countries) and Canada while the US languishes in 32nd place.

This table appropriately highlights two dreadful countries that blight Europe’s progressive attitude and stance on press freedom (as is true for freedom in general); Turkey and Belarus.

The full table can be found here.

Turkey is 154th in the world and Belarus is 157th.

While Belarus is getting better (up 11 places from last year) Turkey is getting worse, moving down 6 places.

In a statement Reporters Without Borders said “Turkey is currently the worlds biggest prison for journalists, especially those who express views critical of the authorities on the Kurdish issue”

In response Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “We don’t care about some notes given by some associations” he went on to say “Those institutions’ sources are out of order. We make our decisions on our own.”

This complete disregard for wrongly imprisoned people is absolutely disgraceful and a clear sign that while Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party stay in power Turkey will never have freedom of speech nor real freedom in general.

There is no way that Turkey can be allowed to join the European Union (EU) and more countries in the EU should be voicing their concerns at Turkey’s EU application.