Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Journalists in State of Emergency - 94

Journalists in State of Emergency - 94

Hamza Yalçın, who was arrested a month ago in Barcelona on Turkey’s request, was released on probation


Journalist and writer Hamza Yalçın, who was arrested in Barcelona on August 3 under an Interpol red notice, was released on September 28.

Spanish El Periodico reported that Yalçın will have to check in weekly with a local court and that his passport was seized by authorities.

The court has yet to decide whether to extradite him to TUrkey, Spanish and Swedish reports said. Yalçın, who has lived in Sweden since 1984, holds a Swedish passport.

The journalist is accused of “terror propaganda” and “insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

Constitutional Court rules in favor of press freedoms

On September 28, the Turkish Constitutional Court made public a ruling which found that a sentence given to a journalist for publishing voice recordings featuring Fethullah Gülen -- the man who heads the group allegedly behind the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey -- was a violation of freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

The decision concerned Hakan Yiğit, who broadcast phone conversations allegedly featuring Gülen and his close inner circle. At the end of a litigation process that was initiated by Gülen himself, he was sentenced to one year and eight months, although he never served time as he was given a deferred sentence.

Turkey requests Interpol red notice for Can Dündar

The Diyarbakır Prosecutor’s Office on September 28 filed an application to seek a red notice for Can Dündar with Interpol and demand the journalist’s extradition. On the same day, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), which has a right to nominate candidates for a Nobel, nominated Can Dündar and the Cumhuriyet newspaper for a peace prize.

The Diyarbakır Prosecutor’s demand for an Interpol arrest warrant is related to a speech Dündar delivered in 2016 in Diyabakır’s Bağlar district. The prosecutor's office had launched an investigation into him on charges of “terror propaganda.”

An arrest warrant has already been issued for him in Turkey as part of the probe by the 5th Criminal Judgeship of Peace.

PRIO announced its shortlist for Nobel nominations on September 28. It said: “A Nobel Peace Prize to Can Dündar and Cumhuriyet would be a welcome boost for press freedom and civil society in a country where such liberties are becoming rarer and rarer. It would also underline the unacceptable dismantling of Turkey’s secular democracy by the Erdogan regime.”

TRT fires cameraman over tweets

Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) cameraman Binali Erdoğan, who is also an executive in the press workers union Haber-Sen, was fired from his TRT job over social media posts criticizing Turkey’s new presidential system.

Azerbaijan issues arrest warrant for Turkish journalists

Azerbaijani authorities have issued arrest warrants for journalists Ali Bayramoğlu, Erol Katırcıoğlu; politician Ufuk Uras and writer Sait Çetinoğlu for visiting the Nagorno Karabakh region without the approval of the Azerbaijani government.

A statement from the Azerbaijani National Prosecutor's Office said the four individuals went to Nagorno Karabakh via Armenia, without having the proper permissions.

It further said that arrest warrants were issued for the four people and Turkish authorities were also notified.

Documentary director killed in Raqqa

On September 26, Mehmet Aksoy (32), a documentary director who was working in Raqqa filming the anti-ISIS operations of the Syrian Democratic Forces coalition, was reported to have been killed during an ISIS attack.

Aksoy had traveled to the north of Syria from Britain and was in the region for the past two months reporting on anti-ISIS operations.

Jailed journalist expresses frustration with TGC and CHP

 Emre Soncan, a defense reporter for the shuttered Zaman daily, who was arrested and imprisoned after the July 15 coup attempt of 2016, expressed frustration with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC).

Soncan accused the TGC and CHP of discriminating between imprisoned journalists. “The CHP and TGC visit Silivri, show support for those journalists who are close to them, but ignore those whom they don’t consider their own,” he said.

Imprisoned journalist Erdoğan sends message from prison cell

Çağdaş Erdoğan, a photo-reporter who has been imprisoned since September 13, sent a message from prison via P24’s Legal Unit. “I have more hope than I’ve ever had. You too, don’t lose hope. Every time you feel you are gasping for air, think of Nuh Köklü, Berkin, Hrant and Taybet İnan. Remember, this is our country not the country of those who want to kill us.”

Nuh Köklü was a journalist who was stabbed to death in 2015 by an angry store owner while having a snowball fight with his friends. Köklü’s killer later defended himself in court saying Köklü was against the ruling party.

15-year-old Berkin Elvan died in 2014 after a long  coma he entered when a police officer shot at his head with a teargas canister during the Gezi Protests of 2013.

Taybet İnan, a resident of the Kurdish province of Şırnak, was killed by state security forces in 2015 while walking to her home one evening. She left behind 11 children.

Hrant Dink was a Turkish-Armenian journalist assasinated in broad daylight outside his Istanbul office in 2007.


 Click here to view the list in a spreadsheet file; where figures on shuttered media and civil society associations are also available on separate tabs.