Violation of freedom of expression in Turkey

In my blog I have tried to highlight the problems currently affecting the world of free expression in Turkey.

Liberal and European ideas that about 90 years ago Ataturk spread seem now give way to a return of religious power in the field of politics  coming to moralize even the private life of Turkish citizens.

President Erdogan makes no secret of his intentions and uses the power of which is invested to suppress the protest voices emerging in Turkey using ad hoc laws to prevent manifest dissent against him.

Any form of communication such as newspapers, internet, TV or protest meetings are severely repressed, often with police intervention.

Many men of culture, writers, teachers and journalists are jailed and deprived of their rights to make the facts known.

Lorella Ceschi


Internet Censorship

The Turkish government has developed legal and institutional reforms motivated by the ambitions of the country to become an EU member, demonstrating at the same time its high sensitivity to defamation and other online content “inappropriate”; these reforms have led to the closure of a number of local and international Web sites. All Internet traffic goes through the infrastructure of Turk Telecom, which allows a centralized control on online content and facilitates the implementation of blockades. In December 2010, the OpenNet Initiative, an organization based in Canada and the United States, which investigates, analyzes and disseminates filtering and surveillance practices on the Internet, classified the Internet censorship in Turkey as selective (in third place in their classification four levels) in political and social areas and found no evidence of censorship in conflict / security. Reporters Without Borders, including in 2011, Turkey in its list of 16 countries “under surveillance.” The year 2010 was marked by the release of the video-sharing site YouTube. Online censorship in Turkey still persists; in a country where abound taboo subjects, several thousand websites are still inaccessible and persist legal proceedings against journalists online).

Lorella Ceschi

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New claims for Turkish television

Last October, the Turkish police took control – on live television – of two stations opposed to Erdogan’s power. They ‘re Bugun TV and Kanalturk, both owned by the Koza-Ipek group. The police barged into the company’s headquarters to notify the decision of the Ankara court that entrusted the management-controlled administration. The officers first dispersed with tear gas and water cannons employees who were trying to defend the entrance of the office which houses the two television stations, then take the direction with the new directors of the issuer. The Koza-Ipek group in fact has been put under protection by the judiciary on charges of “financing, recruiting and propaganda” on behalf of Imam Fethullah Gulen, the head of a network of NGOs and the media defined by the authorities in Ankara as a “terrorist organization”. The judicial decision to place under guardianship the two broadcasters was strongly criticized by the opposition as an attack on freedom of expression.

Lorella Ceschi

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Freedom of expression. Tomorrow will be worse?

The commissioner of the Zaman newspaper is just the latest in a long series of government attacks on media not aligned in Turkey, in the silent complicity of the US and Europe.

Erdoğan era in Turkey that a newspaper is closed, an opposition journalist arrested or fired after one of many invectives ad personam of the president, it has become so familiar as not to arouse more in public focus.

Between now a bloody monthly attacks, systematic repression by the police of street protests,( diplomatic crisis with world powers and a violent war against the Kurdish separatists of the PKK in the southeast of the country, the commissioner of Zaman, one of the most important Turkish newspapers, for many it is just a story of many.

After the breakout took place between the president and the Muslim preacher Gulen, a former supporter of the government in 2013 became opponent of the owner and the daily Zaman, Erdogan and the government headed by his party in the last three years have assumed the almost exclusive police check , judiciary, intelligence agencies, the media and even the army by placing loyalists of the President in all the major nerve centers of the state. Today the voices and institutions in a position to counterbalance the power of Erdogan counted on the fingers of one hand.


To pay the price are the Turkish journalists as the Director of Cumhuriyet Can Dündar, released pending trial on February 26, and the Kurds. One of the major independent television stations close to the Kurdish movement, IMC-TV was obscured, ironically, the very day of the liberation of Dündar, and all other dissenting voices who courageously continue to demand more democracy and rights. President turkish, however, knows that it can act undisturbed. Brussels is too busy to make a deal with Ankara to lock down the borders of Fortress Europe to give weight to these things and the US can not do without the support of turkish in the “war against the Islamic State” in Syria to go beyond ritual declarations.

Lorella Ceschi

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Freedom of speech and expression in Turkey

Freedom of the press in constitutional states is regulated by law. All Western countries have legal rules in order to carry information to the public, constitutional rules defining the rights and duties of freedom. The principle of freedom is also expressed in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right includes freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers”.

In Turkey, the legal basis for censorship in general derive from the laws that limit all expressions deemed  to be offensive for the Turkish identity, and  from those that enhance political extremism. (

Censorship has a long historical course in Turkey and the tightening o Continue reading “Freedom of speech and expression in Turkey”