Help ! HELP ! HELP ! – CALL FOR SOLIDARITY ACTION : Latest news about arrested journalists in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) launched an international campaign to set free all journalists in Turkey. EFJ unions in Belgium  , France  , United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Germany, Spain and Italy   have already been linked with arrested journalists in Turkey. With YOUR help, more than 70 other detained journalists could benefit from a direct pairing in this way.

Over 700 individuals and organisations around the world have joined the “Set Turkish Journalists Free” campaign thanks to your support. Thousands of human rights activists have sent a petition letter to the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling for the release of the jailed journalists in Turkey. As of today, 76 professional journalists still remain in Turkish prisons   with many waiting desperately a fair trial. Please keep supporting our campaign and share your solidarity with our jailed colleagues in Turkey.

What can you do   to help free jailed journalists in Turkey?

Get in touch NOW !

Latest News

(06 Oct 2012) Press Freedom in Turkey: An Interim Assessment and Avenues for Action, by Marc Pierini, visiting scholar Carnegie Europe

(…) “Virtually all reports point to a deteriorating trend in press freedom and identify specific causes. This trend is illustrated inter alia by forced resignations of journalists who have displeased the political echelons, self-censorship, excessive zeal and serious flaws in the judicial system, widespread and unpredictable banning of websites, and, more generally, a culture of fear instilled in the media system.” (read the full report  )

(05 Oct 2012) Mehmet Günes released after 301 days in jail

Mehmet Günes, a columnist for the Türkiye Gerçeği (Reality of Turkey) periodical has been released this Friday (5 october 2012). Accused of being a member of an illegal armed organization called “Devrimci Karargâh”, the Turkish writer and columnist was arrested and detained for 301 days at the Tekirdağ 2 F Type prison. A Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul, taking into account the time spent by the detainees in this case, decided today to release Mehmet Günes and 3 others co-detainees while maintaining 7 others arrested in the same case. The next hearing will take place on the 28th of December.


(05 Oct 2012) Kurdish reporter Ferhat Aslan arrested in Adana

Mersin correspondent for the Kurdish news agency Dicle Haber Ajansi (DIHA) Ferhat Aslan has been arrested, reports Firatnews  . The reporter has been arrested this morning (5th October 2012) at the Adana bus station while travelling to Hatay. Arslan, and 3 other people, have been arrested and sent to the Adana Kürkçüler F type closed prison.

(05 Oct 2012) Next week for Hasan Özgünes ?

Columnist and writer for the Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat, Hasan Özgünes is detained since 28 Oct 2011 (343 days !) and accused, with 204 other Kurdish intellectuals (124 of them are detained), of being a member of an organization called “Koma Civakên Kurdistan” (KCK) considered as the urban umbrella organization of the illegal PKK (Kurdish Workers Party). This ongoing trial held in Istanbul is labelled as “KCK Istanbul” by the local press and the hearings are held with extreme security measures severely affecting lawyers, detainees and media observers. For the moment, the prosecutor has read less than 600 pages of the 2.400 pages bill of indictment to be done. The defense lawyers are expected to have the word on the 8th of October before the first decision of the tribunal. In Istanbul, like in Diyarbakir, the tribunal refused to give the right to speak in Kurdish language during the hearings and refused to call an interpreter under oath for the detainees. Next hearing is scheduled for 8 October.

(05 Oct 2012) Ahmet Birsin ongoing trial in Diyarbakir

TV journalist Ahmet Birsin, general coordinator of Gün TV (Day TV), detained since 14 April 2009 (1270 days!) is currently under trial in Diyarbakir with 175 other Kurdish politicians (110 of them are detained). They are all accused of being a member of an organization called “Koma Civakên Kurdistan” (KCK) considered as the urban umbrella organization of the illegal PKK (Kurdish Workers Party). This ongoing trial held in Diyarbakir, inside the 6th Heavy Penal Court, is labelled as “KCK Diyarbakir” by the local press. Another trial taking place at the 7th Heavy Penal Court in Diyarbakir is also labelled as “KCK Diyarbakir”, the courts recently decided to merge the two cases.


(05  Oct 2012) Tayip Temel goes on hunger strike

Tayip Temel, an editor for the Kurdish news agency Dicle Haber Ajansi (DIHA) and former news director for the Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat, is detained since 8th Oct 2011 (363 days!) and accused of being a leader of an illegal organization and making propaganda for an illegal organization. Starting from end-September 2012, Temel declared to Bianet <>  news agency that he goes on hunger strike for an indefinite time to support the campaign started by PKK and PJAK detainees in Diyarbakir. “I will also refuse any medical intervention”, he said.

(05 Oct 2012) Crucial decision expected next 16th October for arrested journalists Karanvil and Akyüz

Two journalists detained since 11 Dec 2009 (more than 1029 days!) Kenan Karavil, working for the Adana based “Radyo Dünya” (World Radio) and Seyithan Akyüz, Adana correspondent for the Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat, are expecting a crucial judicial decision during the next court hearing in Adana scheduled for the 16th October, reports Bianet   news agency. Both journalists are accused of being a member of an organization called “Koma Civakên Kurdistan” (KCK) considered as the urban umbrella organization of the illegal PKK (Kurdish Workers Party). The case is labelled as “KCK Adana” in the local press.

(03 Oct 2012) OdaTV case : 2 letters from arrested journalist Soner YALCIN

Soner Yalçin is kept in prison since 14th of February 2011 ( 600 days in prison ) in the OdaTV case. The first letter (docx)   refers to European values, authors and intellectuals considered (with sarcasm) as the “partner in crime” of the detained journalist. The second letter (docx)   is a number of ironic advices to European journalists who don’t want to spend some time in Turkish prison.  

Soner Yalcin is a very well known internationally accredited journalist, who had worked for years for Hürriyet, the most prestigious newspaper of Turkey. Besides journalism, Yalçin is also a well-known author. The books he wrote are included in the bestseller list across the country.  His columns and investigative journalism books are prominent examples of Turkish media’s last 20 years.

Soner Yalçin is an « adopted journalist » by the French daily L’Humanité

(02 Oct 2012) “Prime Minister,

The European Federation of Journalists is writing to you to protest a flagrant violation of trade union rights in your country (…) read the full letter in PDF

(02 Oct 2012) Report : Is EU still relevant for Turkey ?   (PDF)

abstrat (…) “Turkey was ranked 148 out of 179 by the non-governmental organization, Reporters Without Borders, in their 2011-12 Freedom of Media Index. A key reason for this rank was the number of imprisoned journalists. Article 314/2 of the Turkish Criminal Code has led to some media figures being charged as members of a terrorist organisation if they conduct interviews with a member of a terrorist organization. Editors also face these charges if their journalists conduct such interviews. The EU is monitoring the trial of journalists in Turkey through the Ad Hoc Delegation of the Observation of the Trials of Journalists. ( we asked for a meeting with them…)  The EU is also working with Turkey through the positive agenda and the formal accession process to assist Turkey’s on-going reforms aimed to ensure that fundamental rights are upheld.”

(01 Oct 2012) EFJ Slams Turkish AKP Party over Access to Critical Media

A decision by the governing political party in Turkey to refuse access to its national convention to journalists from a number of national newspapers has today been strongly criticised as being out of step with modern democratic values. The Justice and Development Party, known in Turkey as AKP, has denied accreditation to the event, which began on Sunday 30 September, to the journalists from newspapers including Cumhuriyet, Sözcü, Aydinlik, Birgün, Evrensel and Yeniçag, all of which have a record of critical journalism concerning the party’s current record in government. Arne König, President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), has hit out at the decision and called on the party to reconsider. “This decision appears to be about closing the door to critical and challenging journalism, and in doing so it is denying a portion of the public access to information about a key political event,” he said. “Of course organisations are free to choose who they allow in to their events, but for a political party to deny access to bona fide journalists appears to fly in the face of modern democratic values. If the media is given access to political events such as this, that offer should be open to all journalists so that the press can play its role as the eyes and ears of the public. I would urge the party to reconsider this decision and give the readers of these newspapers the opportunity to hear the news from its convention. ”” The EFJ, which is a regional organization of the International Federation of journalists, represents over 310,000 journalists in over 30 countries.

For more information, contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200.

(28 Sept 2012) Turkish censorship against journalists applies even in jail

Detained since 10/09/2009 – 2218 days in prison – Turkish female journalist Füsun Erdogan, Bianet news agency columnist and general coordinator of Özgür Radyo (Radio Free), has been punished by the detention authorities for having “sing the national anthem without reason”. Füsun received a penalty of « 8 weeks information ban » making it impossible for her to send her weekly column to Bianet. In order to commemorate a police operation against prisoners called « Hayata Dönüs Operasyonu » (Operation Return to Life) which took place the 19th Dec 2000 and where 28 people died, Füsun and 4 other female detainees organized a symbolic ceremony in their D-6 detention cell at the Kandira Prison where they sung the national anthem and read poems. The prison authority condemned the 5 women to 8 weeks of information ban because, according to the authority, there was no reason to sing the national anthem. Bianet agency regrets to inform his readers to be therefore unable to publish her columns for the next 8 weeks. Füsun Erdogan is an « adopted journalist » by the Hungarian Association of Journalists, an EFJ affiliate.

source :  Bianet   in Turkish

(17 Sept 2012) International groups express alarm over deteriorating media freedom in Turkey   (link)

(17 Sept 2012 IPI/EFJ Turkey statement   (pdf)

(13 Sept 2012) Letter from Baris Terkoglu’s wife Özge   on the eve of the next hearing in the OdaTV trial  (pdf)

(11 Sept 2012) The Guardian : Dozens of Kurdish journalists face terrorism charges in Turkey, by Constanze Letsch and Luke Harding  (link)

Journalism Protests Photos  (photo)

Report on International Press Freedom Mission to Turkey in 2011   (pdf)

(10 May 2012) 8’30 Documentary on Press Freedom in Turkey (2012), this video is produced for the World Press Freedom day 2012 by the NVJ, the Dutch affiliate of the EFJ   (video)

EFJ petition letter to the Turkish Embassy (doc)  

Visit “Press Freedom in Turkey” (SEEMO)   (link)

(12 Oct 2011) European Commission Progress Report on Turkey 2011  (pdf)


List of journalists in Turkish prisons get the data  

source : EFJ / Turkish Journalists Syndicate (TGS) – last updated : 06/10/2012

 Firstname, Name arrestation date #days in prison

1 Abdulcebbar Karabeg 26 Sep 2010 741 days in prison

2 Abdullah Çetin 16 Dec 2011 295 days in prison

3 Ahmet Akyol 9 May 2011 516 days in prison

4 Ahmet Birsin 14 Apr 2009 1271 days in prison

5 Ali Çat 26 Sep 2010 741 days in prison

6 Ali Konar 27 May 2010 863 days in prison

7 Ayşe Oyman 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

8 Aziz Tekin 29 Jan 2012 220 days in prison

9 Bayram Namaz 10 Sep 2006 2218 days in prison

10 Bedri Adanır 8 Jan 2010 637 days in prison

11 Cengiz Kapmaz 26 Nov 2011 315 days in prison

12 Çagdaş Kaplan 20 Dec 2011 291 days in prison

13 Davut Uçar 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

14 Deniz Yildirim 9 Nov 2009 1062 days in prison

15 Dilşah Ercan 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

16 Dilek Demiral 26 Sep 2010 741 days in prison

17 Erdal Süsem 1 Feb 2010 978 days in prison

18 Erol Zavar 20 Jan 2007 2055 days in prison

19 Ertuş Bozkurt 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

20 Fatih Özgür Aydın 25 Jul 2011 439 days in prison

21 Fatma Koçak 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

22 Faysal Tunç 5 Apr 2007 2011 days in prison

23 Ferhat Aslan 05 Oct 2012 1 days in prison

24 Ferhat Çiftçi 16 Feb 2011 598 days in prison

25 Füsun Erdogan 10 Sep 2006 2218 days in prison

26 Gülsen Aslan 20 Feb 2012 229 days in prison

27 Hakan Soytemiz 25 Sep 2010 742 days in prison

28 Hamit Dilbahar 13 Feb 2010 966 days in prison

29 Hasan Özgüneş 28 Oct 2011 344 days in prison

30 Hatice Duman 1 Apr 2003 3476 days in prison

31 Hikmet Çiçek 25 Mar 2008 1656 days in prison

32 Hüseyin Deniz 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

33 Ismail Yıldız 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

34 Kenan Karavil 11 Dec 2009 1030 days in prison

35 Kenan Kırkaya 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

36 Mazlum Özdemir 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

37 Mehmet Emin Yıldırım 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

38 Mehmet Haberal 17 Apr 2009 1268 days in prison

39 Mehmet Yesiltepe 30 Apr 2009 1255 days in prison

40 Miktat Algül 17 May 2010 873 days in prison

41 Murat Aydin 22 Oct 2011 350 days in prison

42 Musa Kurt

43 Mustafa Balbay 6 Mar 2009 1310 days in prison

44 Mustafa Gök 1 Feb 2004 3170 days in prison

45 Nahide Ermiş 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

46 Nevin Erdemir 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

47 Nilgün Yıldız 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

48 Nurettin Fırat 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

49 Nuri Yeşil 27 May 2010 865 days in prison

50 Oktay Candemir 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

51 Ömer Çelik 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

52 Ömer Çiftçi 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

53 Ömer Faruk Çalışkan 19 Jul 2008 1540 days in prison

54 Özlem Aguş 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

55 Pervin Yerlikaya 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

56 Ramazan Pekgöz 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

57 Sadık Topaloglu 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

58 Selahattin Aslan 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

59 Semiha Alankuş 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

60 Sevcan Atak 18 Jun 2010 841 days in prison

61 Seyithan Akyüz 11 Dec 2009 1030 days in prison

62 Sibel Güler 24 Dec 2011 287 days in prison

63 Sinan Aygül 23 Jan 2011 591 days in prison

64 Soner Yalçın 14 Feb 2011 600 days in prison

65 Sultan Şaman 7 Feb 2012 242 days in prison

66 Şahabettin Demir

67 Şükrü Sak 26 Apr 2012 163 days in prison

68 Tayyip Temel 8 Oct 2011 364 days in prison

69 Tuncay Özkan 27 Sep 2008 1470 days in prison

70 Turabi Kişin 2 Jan 2012 247 days in prison

71 Turhan Özlü 19 Aug 2011 414 days in prison

72 Yalçın Küçük 7 Mar 2011 579 days in prison

73 Yüksel Genç 24 Dec 2011 590 days in prison 74 Zeynep Kuray 24 Dec 2011 590 days in prison

75 Ziya Çiçekçi 24 Dec 2011 590 days in prison

76 Zuhal Tekiner 24 Dec 2011 590 days in prison  

Unions/Media who adopted a journalist

BELGIUM / Association Generale des Journalistes Professionnels de Belgique (AGJPB) – Algemeen Vereniging van Beroepsjournalisten (ABVV)

 adopted journalist : Baris TERKOGLU <>

 situation : released on 14th Sept 2012 after 578 days of detention but remains under prosecution

 contact person : Philippe Leruth phileruth(at)


 adopted journalist : Dogan YURDAKUL <>

 situation : released for health reasons on Feb 2012 but remains under prosecution

 contact person : Patrick Kamenka (pkamenka(a)

FRANCE / L’Humanité

 adopted journalist : Soner YALCIN

 situation : in jail since 14th Feb 2011

 contact person : Halide Kurt


 adopted journalist : Baha OKAR

 situation : released but remains under prosecution

 adopted journalist : Bedri ADANIR

 situation : still in prison

 contact person : Roberto Natale roberto.natale(a)


 adopted journalist : Ömer CELIK

 situation : in jail since 24th Dec 2011


HUNGARY / Hungarian Association of Journalists

 adopted journalist : Füsun ERDOGAN

 situation : in jail since 10th Sept 2006

 contact person : Judith ACSAY acsay(a)


 adopted journalist : Ramazan PEKGÖZ

 situation : in jail since 24th Dec 2011

 contact person : Yngvil Mortensen yngvil.mortensen(a)

SPAIN / Asociacion de Periodistas de Santiago de Compostela (APSC)

 adopted journalist : Zeynep KURAY

 situation : in jail since 24th Dec 2011

 contact person: Lucia CASTRO apsantiagoc(a)


SWEDEN / Arena Media Group

 adopted journalist : Deniz YILDIRIM

 situation : in jail since 9th Nov 2009

 contact person : Eva Brandsma eva(a)

SWEDEN / Sörmlands Nyheter

 adopted journalist : Turhan ÖZLÜ

 situation : in jail since 19th Aug 2011

 contact person : Annika Clemens annika(a)


SWEDEN / Journalistförbundet (SJF, Sweden Union of Journalists)

 adopted journalist : Baris PEHLIVAN situation : released on 14th Sept 2012 after 578 days of detention but remains under prosecution

 contact person : Anita Vahlberg(a)

UNITED KINGDOM / National Union of Journalists (NUJ)

 adopted journalist : Müyesser YILDIZ UGUR

 situation : released on 18th Jun 2012 but remains under prosecution

 contact person : Barry WHITE freepress(a)

Upcoming events

08 Oct in Istanbul : next hearing in KCK Istanbul case

16 Oct in Adana : next hearing in KCK Adana case

12 Nov in Istanbul : next hearing in KCK Istanbul case

16 Nov in Silivri : next hearing in OdaTV case

27 Nov in Diyarbakir : next hearing in Bedri Adanir case

28 Dec in Istanbul : next hearing in Devrimci Karargâh case

How you can help ?

Join our campaign and ask your national union to adopt a detained journalist. We will coordinate this work for you with the Turkish Journalists Syndicate (TGS)

Stay informed by reading the last news  , following the calender   or our social networks and keep your national colleagues up to date

Help us to translate the articles and send them in your language

send your e-petition or attend/organize a protest to support the freedom of the press in Turkey !

Get in touch NOW !

EJF “liaison” journalistsIn order to facilitate your contacts with some Turkish contacts, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) gives you the opportunity to quickly get in touch with 2 “liaison” journalists and ask them anything related to this compaign :

Renate SCHROEDER email : renate.schroeder(a)  

Mehmet KOKSAL email : info(a)

phone : +32 486 451 678