Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Turkey26 July 2006

Government urged to conform to European Court’s rulings on freedom of expression

As Turkey often violates freedom of expression, Reporters Without Borders today hailed yesterday’s ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that it breached article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, concerning free expression, by prosecuting the editor and owner of a pro-Kurdish daily.

The court ruled that Turkey should not have convicted the journalists for an article in 2000 about the trial of Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK-Kongral Gel), or for publishing a letter he wrote, as they “did not exhort the use of violence or incite armed resistance or rebellion,”

Reporters Without Borders said: “The court’s decision highlights the difficulties journalists face in Turkey. They cannot discuss the Kurdish issue freely without being accused of collaborating with the PKK-Kongral Gel armed separatists. The Turkish government does not tolerate criticism and has just adopted a new anti-terrorism law that will considerably broaden the sanctions against the press.”

The organisation added: “Turkey must find a compromise between its security concerns and the need to respect press freedom by referring to European Court of Human Rights case law.”

The two journalists are Cihan Capan, the editor of the pro-Kurdish daily Ozgur Bakis, and Halis Dogan, its owner. Both were fined in 2000. Capan also received a 13-month prison sentenced which he has never served. Several issues of the newspaper were seized in the course of 2000 and the newspaper was also ordered to pay heavy fines under different laws including the anti-terrorism law.

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ordered Turkey to pay Capan and Dogan 5,000 and 7,000 euros respectively in compensation.

  In this country
2 June - Turkey
Woman journalist held for past five weeks on baseless charge of link to armed group
12 May - Turkey
Journalist held for past two weeks on suspicion of collaborating with armed group
5 May - Turkey
YouTube completes a year of being blocked in Turkey
1 April - Turkey
Ergenekon conspirators could have been behind journalist Hrant Dink’s murder
11 March - Turkey
Journalist arrested and charged in connection with alleged Ergenekon conspiracy

in the annual report
Turkey - Annual Report 2008
Turkey - Annual report 2007
Turkey - 2006 Annual report

Europe press releases
4 June - Kosovo
Rrokum TV station still excluded by national broadcasting network
2 June - Ukraine
Potential witness’s death deals severe blow to probe into journalist’s murder
2 June - Russia
Journalist seeks asylum in Finland after being convicted for prison torture articles
29 May - France
Regrettable decision by appeal court to lift ban on magazine only if offending photo is covered up
28 May - Azerbaijan
Court breaks law by refusing to release journalist on health grounds

5 February 2009 - Bulgaria
“Resignation or resistance, Bulgaria’s embattled press hesitates”
28 January 2009 - Russia
Fact-finding visit : Moscow double murder may have been linked to November attack on local newspaper editor
27 June 2008 - Turkey
Investigation report into the detention of journalist Haci Bogatekin, imprisoned for more than two months and facing ten and a half years in prison

Sign the petitions
Jusuf Ruzimuradov

Europe archives
2009 archives
2008 archives
2007 archives
2006 archives
2005 archives
2004 archives
2003 archives
2002 archives
2001 archives
2000 archives