Report: Freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey

by Mikail Yılmaz

A Turkish band, REDD, put the models of imprisoned journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener on the stage recently.  photo source.

Strasbourg, 12 July 2011
Original version


by Thomas Hammarberg, Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe
Following his visit to Turkey, from 27 to 29 April 2011

Freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey


The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights (?the Commissioner?) has been closely following human rights developments in Turkey, including those relating to freedom of expression and media freedom which are essential foundations of a democratic society. In this context, he visited Turkey from 27 to 29 April 2011. During this visit the Commissioner obtained information on the latest developments concerning freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

The Commissioner welcomes the progress made by Turkey in recent years concerning a free and open debate on a variety of human rights-related issues. However, in view of the very large number of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (?the Court?), for more than a decade, finding violations by Turkey of the right to freedom of expression, he remains concerned by the fact that Turkey has not yet taken all necessary measures to effectively prevent similar violations. He considers that the reported increase in criminal proceedings and arrests involving journalists in Turkey are the result of a failure to effectively address to date the underlying causes identified notably in the judgments of the Court.

The present Report focuses on the following issues, which the Commissioner considers of particular relevance to freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey:




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