Press in Arrest Reports: Anatomy of Journalist Prosecutions in Turkey May 3, 2021

“Turkey consistently fails to meet its obligations under international law,” the report proves, providing a detailed analysis of legal provisions and practice concerning journalist prosecutions in Turkey against international human rights law standards and jurisprudence.


According to Press In Arrest data, 41 Journalists are Behind Bars in Turkey April 9, 2021

In March, journalists in Turkey once again spent much of their time at courthouses. During the month, at least 79 journalists appeared before a judge at various trials in 9 provinces.

According to Press In Arrest data, at least three journalists were detained in March, while one journalist was denied entry to Turkey.

In 14 of the 35 hearings held in the month of March, the courts reached a verdict. 5 journalists were acquitted. A trial involving 2 journalists was suspended. A journalist’s case was dismissed by the court. 8 journalists were sentenced to a total of 24 years, 3 months in prison, and administrative fines totaling 14 thousand 80 TL.

In March, various judges in criminal courts of peace ruled to ban and delete dozens of online news stories. Upon a court verdict obtained by Serhat Albayrak, Press in Arrest’s article titled “Ceren Sözeri - Serhat Albayrak / Compensation Lawsuit”, previously accessible at, was also banned. The court ruled that the article shall be deleted.

According to Press In Arrest figures, 41 journalists are behind bars, either convicted or pending trial. Press In Arrest’s database features data on 21 of these journalists.

Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) imposed administrative fines against Halk TV and TELE 1.

In March, journalists once again faced assaults and threats.


In February: 33 Journalist Prosecuted in High Criminal Courts March 5, 2021

In Turkey in February, developments concerning press freedom and journalists’ trials were quite worrisome, with many journalists finding it difficult to step out of courthouses. During the month of February, at least 68 journalists appeared before a judge in 36 press trials held in 11 provinces. As such, an average of 3.5 journalists appeared in court every day -for simply exercising their job.


Press freedom in January 2021: Two journalists appeared before a judge per day Feb. 5, 2021

In Turkey, the developments concerning press freedom and journalists’ trials in January 2021 constituted a sort of “handbook for prosecuting journalists”. During the month, at least 43 journalists appeared before a judge in various trials across 10 cities. In other words, two journalists were tried every day.

According to Press In Arrest statistics, at least five journalists were detained, and one journalist was arrested and imprisoned in January.

Journalist Melis Alphan was sued for a Newroz celebration message she posted on social media six years ago.

Three journalists were interrogated by the police and / or prosecutors under various investigations.

In these trials, six journalists were acquitted, two journalists’ trials were dropped, and two journalists were sentenced to 3 years, 22 days in prison, in total.

European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkey had violated the rights of writer and singer Atilla Taş.

Advertisement bans, news access bans, and other attacks on journalists remained on the agenda in January.

The details of the report are below:


Press In Arrest November 2020 Press Freedom Report Dec. 3, 2020

In November in Turkey, in at least 30 press-related trials in 8 provinces, at least 40 journalists were prosecuted. 8 of them were women.

In the trials concerning these 40 journalists, the prosecutor’s offices demanded 2 counts of aggravated life sentence, and a total of 201 years 4 months to 497 years 2 months in prison.

Press in Arrest has observed that, in the press trials held in Turkey since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in Turkey, hearings are closed to observers and the public in an arbitrary manner, under the pretext of ‘protection measures’.

In the period from March to the beginning of December, in 38 hearings concerning 73 journalists, observers were not admitted to the courtroom or a restriction was imposed on the number of observers attending the hearings, under the pretext of the coronavirus outbreak.


Press In Arrest October 2020 Press Freedom Report Nov. 6, 2020

In October in Turkey, in at least 45 press-related trials in 7 provinces, at least 74 journalists were prosecuted.

In the trials concerning these 74 journalists, the prosecutor’s offices,
demanded 3 counts of aggravated life sentences, and a total of 321 years 6 months to 916 years 4 months 15 days in prison.


Press In Arrest September 2020 Press Freedom Report Oct. 2, 2020

In September at least 64 journalists -20 of whom are women- appeared in court for 38 press trials in 7 provinces.

In the trials, the prosecutors demanded 7 counts of aggravated life sentence, and prison sentences of at least 376 years, 11 months to 970 years, 10 months against journalists.


Press In Arrest August 2020 Press Freedom Report Sept. 4, 2020

Trials were suspended in August due to the judiciary recess; however, attempts to bring journalists into line continued under violent forms.


Press In Arrest's 7-Month Press Freedom Report Aug. 7, 2020

In Turkey, the judiciary recess has begun, and will last until September. It was speculated that the recess could be postponed as the country spent the first months of the year under lockdown due to the coronavirus. However, the decision was taken to initiate the recess period as usual. Thus, after the rather turbulent first seven months of 2020, trials were given a short break. This in turn gave us the opportunity to evaluate this period. At Press in Arrest, we have compiled our notes on the events of these past seven months.

Before we start, happy belated feast of sacrifice for those observing it. We would like to remind you on this occasion that at least 65 journalists spent the holiday in prison. We continue working so that from now on, they and all journalists may enjoy future holidays in freedom.

2020 continues as a year when the world as we know it has been shocked to its core. The world is like a ship that has lost its bearings. Naturally, in a country such as Turkey, where one may talk about only an arbitrary democracy, the impact of these shocks is much more devastating, even lethal. The past seven months witnessed developments that eclipsed even the most dramatic TV series.


Press In Arrest June 2020 Press Freedom Report July 3, 2020

In June, at least 60 journalists prosecuted in 30 trials in 5 Turkish cities faced a total of 3 aggravated life sentences, and at least 359 years 5 months 15 days to 919 years 10 months of imprisonment.


Press In Arrest May 2020 Press Freedom Report June 5, 2020

Although hearings were suspended due to the outbreak in May, at least 37 journalists were prosecuted in 21 lawsuits across 8 cities, facing prison sentences totaling “3 counts of aggravated life imprisonment and at least 146 years 3 months 15 days to 399 years 8 months 15 days of imprisonment”.


World Press Freedom Day: Journalism is a 'Crime' in Turkey! May 3, 2020

The Press In Arrest team has created a detailed list of how many journalists in Turkey face / faced trials in the last 2 years as per various legal provisions.


Press In Arrest April 2020 Press Freedom Report May 1, 2020

Covid19 outbreak continues to set the agenda in Turkey and the world. The virus seems to hold the reins of politics, society and daily life. Efforts to bring the virus under control and to return to normal continue.

Although Covid19 appears to be our only agenda item nowadays, other issues continue to change and evolve in Turkey and the world.

Press in Arrest has gathered in a report the top issues concerning ‘freedom of press and journalists standing trial’ in April 2020 in Turkey.


Regarded More Threatening Than The Virus, The Press Is Imprisoned And Muzzled! April 3, 2020

A database and collective memory initiative that has been monitoring, documenting and reporting on hundreds of journalists’ trials for around two years, Press In Arrest has published its March report concerning journalists on trial.



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