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The state of freedom of press and journalism in Turkey


On the 29th of June the SIB will organize an evening about the state of freedom of press and journalism in Turkey. Froukje Santing, who is specialized in Islam and a former Dutch correspondent of 17 years for among others NRC in Turkey will be our speaker for the night.

Reports Without Borders (RSF) placed Turkey on place 154 of 180 between Iraq and Gambia on their World Press Freedom Index. The RSF explains: ‘judicial practices continue to be repressive and the number of detained journalists is still at a level that is unprecedented since the end of the military regime. Around 60 journalists were in detention at the end of 2013, including at least 28 held in connection with their work, making Turkey one of the world’s biggest prisons for media personnel.’

In January this year, Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink was arrested by Turkish police for allegedly spreading ‘terrorist propaganda’ of the Kurdish PKK party by doing a segment on them. She would be facing five years in prison. In the end she was acquitted in April by the Turkish High Criminal Court citing that freedom of expression should be interpreted in the broadest way possible. Still, she may face appeal by the Turkish public prosecutor.

Santing, our speaker of the night was present as observer at the trial of Geerdink and will discuss not only this special case, but also the state of freedom of expression and press in general in Turkey.