Press Freedom Prize Goes To Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet

Germany Freedom of the Press campaign

By Staff of Reporters Without Borders – This year, the Istanbul-based daily Cumhuriyet has distinguished itself by its defence of media freedom in Turkey but has paid a high price. As the government kept stepping up its harassment of its critics, Cumhuriyet’s independent and courageous journalism triggered one prosecution after the other, a smear campaign and the repeated blocking of its website. “The person who committed this crime will pay dearly, he won’t get away with it so easily,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in June when announcing on TV that he was bringing a formal charge of “spying” against Cumhuriyet editor Can Dündar.

Dozens Detained In G20 Summit Protests In Turkey

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By Staff of The Christian Science Monitor – ANTALYA, TURKEY — Police in the Turkish Mediterranean city of Antalya detained dozens of people Sunday during a series of protests denouncing a G-20 summit that is underway in a nearby seaside resort, although the demonstrations were mostly peaceful. Security is tight during two-day meeting that was expected to be dominated by discussions about how the G-20 nations will respond to the deadly Paris attacks, claimed by the Islamic State group. Demonstrators were being kept miles away from the venue at a secluded seaside resort some 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Antalya city.

Kurdish Struggle Continues, With A Smile And A Shrug

Kurdish resistance

By Joris Leverink for Telesur. The results of Turkey’s snap elections came as a shock to many, but especially to those who had bore the brunt of the AKP’s anger after the party had lost its majority in parliament for the first time in thirteen years. The five months between the two elections were marred by violence in which hundreds of people lost their lives; guerrillas and soldiers, policemen and citizens. Two of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Turkey’s history killed almost 140 people, and dozens of people were reportedly killed when security forces attacked neighborhoods and towns were militant youths had picked up arms to protect themselves from the state’s violence. Hope turned to anger; euphoria to disappointment. “How can the people reward them for all the corruption, the killings and the repression?” was an often-heard credo on the streets of the de-facto capital of Turkey’s Kurdish region. But, after a brief night of mourning and a few isolated clashes between excited youths and the police, Diyarbakir woke up the next morning to a bright blue sky and the warmth of the Mesopotamian sun. People were still angry, disappointed, sad and indignant, of course, but this is something the people of Kurdistan have dealt with all their lives. And they weren’t about to give up hope just yet.

Turks Protest Government Over Mass Killings At Peace Rally

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By Sophia Jones for The Huffington Post – ANKARA — No group has claimed responsibility yet for Saturday’s twin bombings in Turkey, the worst terror attack in the country’s history that left at least 95 people dead at an anti-war rally. But many Turks insist they know exactly who has blood on their hands: the Turkish government. “The murderous state will be judged!” thousands of men, women and children cried in Ankara’s Sihhiye Square on Sunday, their hands held high in a sea of peace signs. “The martyrs of the revolution are immortal!” Political tension and distrust have only deepened in the wake of the attack that targeted labor union members, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) supporters and leftists.

Thousands Rally, Mourn Ankara Bombing Victims


By Staff for Al Jazeera. Ankara, Turkey – Thousands of people have attended a rally in Ankara under heavy security to remember the at least 95 people killed in twin bombings in the Turkish capital. The demonstrators on Sunday filled Sihhiye Square in central Ankara, close to the site of Saturday’s blasts outside the city’s train station, with some shouting anti-government slogans. The rally was called by labour unions, leftist groups, NGOs and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) – the same groups that had called the peace rally targeted in Saturday’s attack. Two senior officials told Reuters news agency that initial signs pointed to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) responsibility in the Ankara bombings. However, several demonstrators blamed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the attack, shouting “Erdogan murderer”, “Government resign”, and “The state will give account”.

Turkey:Terror Attack During Peace Rally


By Constanze Letsch and Nadia Komami for The Guardian. Ankara, Turkey – At least 95 people have been killed and around 250 wounded in the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history after two explosions targeted a peace rally in the centre of the capital. Twin explosions outside Ankara’s main train station on Saturday morning targeted hundreds of people who had gathered to protest against violence between authorities and the Kurdish militant group, the PKK. Turkish government officials said the explosions were a terrorist attack carried out by suicide bombers but no group has yet claimed responsibility. Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, was holding emergency meetings with government officials and security chiefs on Saturday afternoon.

Violent Protests Erupt After Istanbul Peace March Canceled

Protesters hold signs reading "peace" after a peace march was banned by authorities in the Aksaray district of Istanbul on July 26, 2015. Violence in Turkey erupted after the killing of 32 people in a suicide bombing on July 20 in the Turkish town of Suruc on the Syrian border carried out by a 20-year old Turkish man linked to ISIS. Ozan Kose / AFP - Getty Images

By NBC News – Protesters hold signs reading “peace” after a peace march was banned by authorities in the Aksaray district of Istanbul on July 26, 2015. Violence in Turkey erupted after the killing of 32 people in a suicide bombing on July 20 in the Turkish town of Suruc on the Syrian border carried out by a 20-year old Turkish man linked to ISIS. A protester shields himself from water cannons during clashes with Turkish police officers on July 26 in Istanbul’s Gazi District. Tensions across the country are high, with police routinely using water cannons to disperse nightly protests in Istanbul and other cities denouncing ISIS and the government’s policies on Syria. A woman walks past graffiti reading “Everywhere Taksim- Goverment Resign” during clashes with Turkish riot police in the Gazi District on July 26. Turkey’s military on July 25 carried out a new wave of air and artillery strikes against Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, in an escalating campaign Ankara says is aimed at rooting out terror.

Istanbul Police Clear Pride March W/ Water Cannons, Rubber Bullets

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By Sophia Jones in Huffington Post – Thousands of men, women and children gathered in Istanbul’s historic Taksim Square on Sunday for the annual gay pride festival only to face water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas. “Where are you, my love?” sang one group of LGBT rights activists, waving rainbow flags and holding hands, swaying to the popular Turkish love song. “I am here, my love!” Moments later, Turkish riot police aimed a water cannon into a crowd of people (including this reporter) sending them running for safety as water pounded them from behind. Belongings flew off with the force of the water as people struggled to stay on their feet — a scene that caused several young police officers to laugh openly, mocking the drenched protesters.

Turkish Cop Who Teargassed Woman Ordered To Plant 600 Trees

Photo by Reuters. Symbol of hardline policing: Ceyda Sungur turns her face away as gas mask-wearing policeman, Fatih Zengin, sprays her with tear gas. He has been ordered to plant 600 trees after being found guilty of misconduct  Read more:  Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook.

By Simon Tomlinson in The Daily Mail – A Turkish policeman whose teargassing of a woman in a red dress became a symbol of environmental protests two years ago has been ordered by a court to plant 600 trees. The image of Ceyda Sungur, dubbed the ‘lady in red’, her hair billowing upwards as officer Fatih Zengin sprayed tear gas in her face, was endlessly shared on social media. It was also replicated as a cartoon on posters, mugs and stickers during the protests in Istanbul. After being found guilty misconduct yesterday, Zengin’s sentence appeared to contain a deliberate irony. The protests, which began as a bid to stop the redevelopment of Gezi Park in central Istanbul, were dismissed by the government at the time as ‘nothing to do with trees’.

David Harvey: Reclaiming The City From Kobane To Baltimore

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One of the big difficulties, I think, is going to be facing the existing property rights to a degree that the existing population can re-establish itself. They probably want to build their property rights in the way things were before, so they will get back to old-style urbanization, and that is maybe what will happen — in which case the question will be where the resources will come from. Still I think the opportunity exists to explore anti-capitalist alternatives. Whether this opportunity has been taken, I don’t know. But to the extent that Kurdish thinking has been influenced by somebody like Murray Bookchin, I think there is a possibility for the population to explore something different. I was told there are assembly-based forms of governance in place in Rojava, but I haven’t seen anything yet. I worry a little bit, you know, the left sometime has this romanticism. The Zapatistas said “revolution” and everybody got romantic about what they were doing.

‘Cease And Censor’ In Turkey’s War On Social Media

Turkish Social Media protest

The Turkish government is no longer blocking the likes of Twitter thus keeping a façade of freedom, but it blazes the trail in a new type of censorship regime. I call it “cease and censor.” The worst part is that Twitter seems to be helping it by implementing its “country-withheld content” policy. First employed in 2012 to block neo-Nazi accounts in Germany, the policy complies with the concerned country’s local laws and blocks a tweet or an account only in that country when faced with a legal order. This is understandable in cases of hate speech or criminal offenses, but the policy becomes awfully problematic when it interferes with freedom of expression and is applied according to local laws that are designed to censor freedom of expression at all costs, such as Turkey’s internet law. Facebook also complies with the Turkish government’s requests to block and censor political content. @Madigudisi in Twitter and Ötekilerin Postası (The Other’s Post) on Facebook are two victims of this new censorship regime. I talked to them to learn their stories and to better understand how this new regime of censorship works.

Men In Miniskirts Campaign For Women’s Rights

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Turkish men aren’t known for wearing skirts. But it’s expected they will turn out in large numbers in Istanbul later to protest about violence against women in Turkey. They’re joining others outraged by the murder of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan who was abducted on 11 February and killed for apparently trying to prevent a bus driver from raping her. It’s thought she tried to fend off her attacker with pepper spray but was stabbed and then hit on the head with a metal bar. Her body was discovered in a riverbed several days later. As BBC Trending has been reporting all week, Aslan’s murder has led to a huge outpouring of anger, not only on the streets but also online.

Turkey: 100+ Teachers Protesting For Secular Ed Face Tear Gas & Arrest

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The teachers union organized the rally to demonstrate in favor of secularism in Turkey’s education system, as required by the country’s constitution. More than 100 people were detained Dec. 20 following a police crackdown on a demonstration in central Ankara organized by a teachers’ union. The demonstrators gathered in the morning in the Turkish capitol’s Tandoğan Square upon a call from teachers’ union Eğitim-İş to demand “Respect to Secular Education and Labor.” Police used pepper spray, water cannons and tear gas to disperse the teachers when a group reportedly insisted on marching towards Kızılay.

People-Power Prevents Construction Of Coal Plant


The community of the western Turkish village of Yirca has experienced a roller coaster of sadness and elation in recent days, winning an important court battle against a coal project but losing 6,000 valuable olive trees. Just hours after bulldozers from Turkish construction firm Kolin Group flattened the trees to make way for a coal-fired power plant, a Turkish court unanimously declared the project illegal. The resulting publicity from the people-powered lawsuit also saw the Turkish government publicly distance itself from the controversial project. It was the culmination of an intense three-week period that started on October 21 when Yirca villagers and Greenpeace Mediterranean activists were brutally attacked for trying to protect the trees and prevent construction of Kolin’s proposed 510-megawatt coal-fired power plant.

Center For Constitutional Rights Criticizes ICC For Failure To Prosecute Israel

IDF Naval Forces prepare to intercept the 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla on May 29, 2010. (Photo: SSgt. Michael Shvadron, IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) issued the following response to the news that the International Criminal Court (ICC) would not be opening a full investigation into the 2010 Israeli attack on a humanitarian flotilla to Gaza. Israeli forces killed nine people, including 18-year-old U.S. citizen Furkan Doğan who was shot several times as he was filming the 4:00 a.m. raid and then shot in the face at point blank range as he lay there wounded. It is outrageous that the ICC is refusing to prosecute Israeli officials despite acknowledging that there’s a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed.