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Dec 20

Turkey detains journalists

ISTANBUL – Early Tuesday morning in several Turkish cities a total of at least eighteen journalists were detained. The raids are part of an investigation of people who are active in Kurdish political and public organisations, which has been going on for years. One of the detained journalists is Mustafa Özer, photographer for the international press agency AFP.

A total of

Sep 23

Freelance correspondent doesn’t get satiated but specialized

After almost five years of freelance correspondence, somebody recently asked me if I’m not satiated by now. Am I still able to look at Turkey with ‘Dutch eyes’? Can I still think of stories that appeal to Dutch readers? ‘It is not for no reason’, this colleague and friend mailed me, ‘that correspondents with a contract rotate after about five …

Aug 03

Professional journalism? Not in Turkey!

Blue murder is being cried over the lack of press freedom in Turkey. You never hear about the other side of the medal: journalists give themselves too many freedoms. Journalist Banu Güven: ‘Extreme language and polarization sell.’

There is a huge red board in the hallway at Hürriyet, one of the biggest papers in Turkey: Our Basic Principles of …

May 15

Thousands of Turks protest for internet freedom

ISTANBUL –Tens of thousands of people have protested in several Turkish cities against censorship on the internet. The turnout was particularly high in Turkey’s biggest city Istanbul and in the western coastal city of Izmir.

In Istanbul at least 15,000 people turned out, especially young people up to about age 35. The protests were aimed against internet censorship in general, but …

May 13

Turmoil over sex tapes in Turkey

ISTANBUL – First they kiss rather clumsily, then a bit later they are laying on the bed together. She – a young student – on top. She moves, and he – an older, married politician – slaps her bottom. The sex videos of two politicians from the ultra nationalist National Action Party (MHP) have caused turmoil in Turkey. The men …

Mar 13

Demonstration for press freedom in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Several thousand people demonstrated for press freedom on Sunday in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Since two prominent journalists were arrested last week for alleged involvement in plans to topple the AKP government, solidarity among Turkish journalists is on the rise.

The demand for press freedom was reinforced by carrying portraits of arrested journalists. So far 68 journalists are …

Mar 02

Being a contract correspondent? Please, no!

Sometimes I am asked who sent me to Turkey. Which paper or broadcaster delegated me to this journalist’s paradise? Well, nobody. Or I should say: my boss. Me.

Entrepreneurship is the new form of foreign correspondence. And that means: look as far and wide as possible to where you can sell your stories, develop yourself in multimedia, specialize yourself, and look …

Nov 20

Row about Dutch ‘infidel’ in Turkish soap

ISTANBUL – Her beauty is dazzling, but she’s not particularly loved, Dutch Caroline in the Turkish soap opera ‘How time flies’. She is the forbidden love of a man from a middle class family and is referred to again and again as ‘gavur’, meaning infidel. A Turkish government commission has now warned the writers of the series about this ‘discrimination’, …

Nov 02

YouTube banned again in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Un-blocked last Saturday, but now re-blocked: a Turkish judge has ruled that access to YouTube has to be denied once again, according to several online papers on Tuesday.

The decision was made following a complaint by Deniz Baykal, who was opposition leader in parliament till earlier this year. He had to step down after erotic videos were put online …

Nov 01

Turkish Prime Minister accuses Europe

ISTANBUL –Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan accuses Europe of supporting terrorists, and thus ascribes to them responsibility for the bomb attack in Istanbul yesterday. In the attack 32 people were wounded and the suicide bomber himself was killed.

Erdoğan mentioned the bomb attack in a speech he gave to an international congress in Istanbul. He blamed European countries for failing to get …

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