Amberin Zaman: Turkey has entered uncharted waters

A post-coup demonstration in support of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Photo: Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia Commons) “I wear my Turkish and Muslim identity as easily a pair of well-worn jeans. I no longer worry that my writing will land me in trouble.” These were some of the heady feelings I shared with Yeni Safak, a highbrow pro-Islamic newspaper, in a 2005 interview. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been in power for just three years. Overtly pious yet savvily flexible AKP used its big popular mandate to dismantle decades of army tutelage and embark […]

Memnune Mayda: “Our only child is definitely not a traitor”

Özkan Mayda, an Antalya-based photojournalist for the Zaman daily, was arrested in the wake of the 15 July attempted coup in Turkey. He is just one of the over 150 journalists currently in jail in the country. Counter-terrorism police in the southern province detained Mayda on 23 July 2016. He has been in detention for 247 days. Zaman was among the more than 100 newspapers, broadcasters, news agencies, and magazines the Turkish government ordered closed using emergency powers assumed after the failed coup. This month, Mayda’s mother, Memnune Mayda, wrote to Index on Censorship. Read more

Belarus: Crackdown sweeping journalists and human rights defenders into detention

By Andrei Aliaksandrau “I am a journalist!” This is a phrase that is officially regarded as obscene by the authorities of Belarus today. Aliaksandr Barazenka, a cameraman for Belsat TV, a Poland-based Belarusian language media outlet, was sentenced to 15 days arrest in Minsk on Monday 27 March. He was detained while filming a live stream from a peaceful protest in the centre of the Belarusian capital on 25 March. Witnesses say Barazenka was with a camera and other journalistic equipment that made it obvious he was not a protester. To prove it to the riot police, who had begun […]

Mapping Media Freedom: In review 22-28 July

Click on the dots for more information on the incidents. Each week, Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project verifies threats, violations and limitations faced by the media throughout the European Union and neighbouring countries. Here are five recent reports that give us cause for concern.

Turkey’s rising censorship: How did we get here?

By Ianka Bhatia and Sean Vannata The spotlight has been on Turkey following the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government’s ensuing crackdown on journalists, teachers, judges and soldiers. How did it come to this? Here are five key articles on Turkey from Index on Censorship showing the escalation of threats to freedom of expression prior to July’s failed coup.