Media in exile: Eurasia’s last vestiges of freedom of expression

Can Dündar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyyet, one of Turkey’s most popular newspapers, was awaiting an appeal on his case in Turkey from Germany when the news of the coup d’etat in his homeland came. Scores of arrests followed, and his lawyer advised that Dündar, who had just narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in May 2016 outside a courtroom and was facing over five years in prison for allegedly leaking state secrets, stay in Germany. He recalls that it was the hardest decision in his life, 40 years of which he had devoted to working as a journalist in Turkey.

Yavuz Baydar: Critical Turkish media is cracking under pressure

On Tuesday 19 July, Turkey’s independent and critical journalists, academics and law experts woke up to another day of concern and fear. The uncertainty is driven by the lack of assurances on media freedom or even a basic respect for the rule of law. At a time when the country is purging its administration of alleged coup plotters, its leaders should be calming nerves and calling for transparency. On the contrary, President Reccep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım appear to be in favour the reintroduction of the death penalty. The media is the most fragile element in the middle of […]

Can Dündar: Turkey is “the biggest prison for journalists in the world”

Turkish journalist, author and filmmaker Can Dündar spoke at the House of Commons last week about the state of politics and media freedom in Turkey. The event was hosted by the Centre for Turkey Studies and chaired by Scottish Liberal Democrat peer Lord Jeremy Purvis of Tweed. “I’ve come from the biggest prison for journalists in the world,” Dündar told the audience. “There are close to 40 journalists imprisoned in Turkey — we are competing with China.” Dündar, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison on 6 May 2016, just hours after a failed […]