Turkey: Union takes legal action against blacklisting of journalists

The Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS), member of the International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), is taking legal action against a think tank over the publication of a report which allegedly blacklisted journalists working for foreign news media.

A protestor holds a placard reading 'Journalism is not a crime' during a demonstration. CREDIT: SASCHA SCHUERMANN / AFP

The IFJ and EFJ condemned the targeting of journalists as the latest attempt by the authorities to silence independent journalism and fully support the actions taken by the TGS.

The Foundation for Political Economic and Social Research (SETA), a pro-government organisation, published a 202-page report containing information about journalists working for the Turkish language services of international media, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle.

The report details how international media covered the latest events in Turkey, such as the 2016 failed coup, adding the names and professional information of journalists like their postings on social media or previous employment.

TGS and the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) filed along with the blacklisted journalists a legal complaint against SETA at Istanbul's main court on Monday 8 June.


For its part, SETA denied all the allegations and said that the report only focused on information about the professional activities of those named therein.

IFJ President, Younes Mjahed said: “The IFJ can’t tolerate the targeting and blacklisting of journalists. Media professionals must be able to work without any kind of intimidation or threat, and this report naming and targeting journalists put that at risk. We stand in solidarity with our Turkish colleagues at home and abroad”.

This report is the latest attempt to restrict media freedom in Turkey, where the situation facing journalists is deteriorating dangerously.  The DİSK Basın-İş (The Press Workers Union) denounced hundreds of attacks and violations of freedom of expression and the press in Turkey during 2018.

Furthermore, according to the TGS, there are currently 133 journalist in prison in Turkey.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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