Afrique Ameriques Asie Moyen-Orient Internet Nations unies
Turkey16 November 2007

Military court bans coverage of case of eight soldiers accused of insubordination

(JPEG) Reporters Without Borders today condemned an order issued on 12 November by a military court in the eastern city of Van banning any media reports, comments or criticism of an investigation into eight soldiers held on suspicion of “persistent insubordination,” abandoning their positions and failing to fight as ordered against guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The soldiers were arrested after being released on 4 November by the PKK, which had captured them during an attack on a Turkish army position near the Iraqi border on 21 October.

“This ban on reports, comments or criticism is above a reflection of the army’s concern to preserve its image and prevent the public from knowing what soldiers think and experience far from the army high command,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The media have the right and duty to report what is happening in the Iraqi border region and to report the views of the men fighting there.”


The court order, which applies to all print and broadcast media, has been posted on the website of the Council for Broadcast Monitoring (RTÜK) since 13 November. It was issued after some of the detained soldiers’ statements were published in the Turkish press on 12 November. They said they had been short of ammunition and some of their guns had stopped working. Two of them gave interviews to a Kurdish television station, Roj TV, while they were captives.

Three weeks ago, on 23 October, the government banned all “negative” programmes about the death of 12 soldiers during the offensive in which the eight were taken prisoner. The council of state rescinded the order the next day on the grounds that it was too vague.

Three French journalists covering events in the region were arrested as they tried to cross from Turkey into Iraq at the Harbour border crossing on 24 October.

  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