2015 was a nightmare for media

In 2015, there had been violations of rights in media in Turkey. The report prepared by Free Journalists Association of Turkey reveals the violations of rights that took place in 2015.

In 2015, news websites were censored, media workers were fired, journalist were subjected to police brutality while they were reporting, they detained for hours and their cameras were seized. Here are the main violations that took place in 2015:

In 2015, many websites and social media accounts were withheld. 17 media organs were subjected to accreditation ban. Dicle News Agency, which had been withheld for 27 times since July 24, is the most blocked media organ in 2015. 

3 journalists and 2 caricaturists were sentenced to 16 months and 20 days in prison and 78.100 liras fine were imposed on10 journalists.

According to the data gathered from the news reports, at least 40 journalists were threatened and 47 journalists were attacked. Moreover, equipment of the journalists were damaged due to police brutality during reporting.

Investigations were opened against media institutions with the reasons like “making propaganda for terrorist organizations”, “insulting the state forces”, “inciting hatred” and “insulting the president”. 

This year, 3 Syrian journalists were killed in Turkey and 14 journalists, 3 of them being foreigner, were arrested. In 2015, 92 journalists were taken into custody.

Lawsuits in ECHR and Constitutional Court

18 journalists filed lawsuits against Turkey in ECHR and the court imposed 22.983 euro fine on Turkey. There were 4 cases in the Constitutional Court and the court decided that the rights of the journalists had been violated. 

In 2015, lawsuits were opened against 35 journalists. These journalists stand trial with the request of a total of 557 years and 6 months prison sentence. 2 journalists were imposed 4420 lira fine and 1 journalist was sentenced to 1 year and 15 days in prison. Total of 1.520.000 lira compensation claims were filed against 4 journalists and 2 newspapers and the Supreme Board of Radio and Television imposed total of 5.480.245 lira fine on various TV channels, newspapers, websites and periodicals. 

Here is the link for the full report in Turkish.

Some violations of rights that took place in 2015

Can Dündar, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, Ankara representative of Cumhuriyet, were arrested because the news report and footage  they published about the trucks of intelligence service of Turkey. 

Shots at journalists

It was claimed that the police forces shot at journalists who were observing the protest that was started with the curfew declared in Sur province of Diyarbakir. 

About 200 people attacked the building of Hürriyet newspaper, because they claimed that the newspaper distorted the statements of President Erdoğan. 

Foreign Ministry claimed that BBC is supporting terrorism openly with their photo story that is titled as “PKK fighters prepare for the war against ISIS”. 

No accreditation

The police forces in Istanbul tried to prevent the distribution of Cumhuriyet which published Charlie Hebdo comics. 

Trustees were assigned to companies of Koza İpek Holding with the request of Ankara 5th Court of Peace and Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office. Media organs like Bugün and Kanaltürk were seized. 

Reporters from Doğan, Dicle, Cihan and İhlas news agencies weren't given accreditation for watching the opening ceremony in Yüksekova that President Erdoğan and Prime Minister Davutoğlu attended. 

Gun against journalist's head

Özgür Gün TV reporter Murat Demir and Dicle News Agency reporter Serhat Yüce, who tried to take footage during the operation of special police forces, were taken into custody and their cameras were seized. A police put a gun against Serhat Yüce's head.