Free fall…. Mehdi Hasan writes the story of free speech being lost in Turkey…

In Turkey the right to free speech is being lost | Mehdi Hasan

by Mehdi Hasan
Erdogan is using a series of alleged plots to justify a crackdown on dissent that threatens basic freedoms
Which country in the world currently imprisons more journalists than any other? The People’s Republic of China? Nope. Iran? Wrong again. The rather depressing answer is the Republic of Turkey, where nearly 100 journalists are behind bars, according to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Yes, that’s right: modern, secular, western-oriented Turkey, with its democratically elected government, has locked away more members of the press than China and Iran combined.

Independent deputy Aysel Tuğluk sentenced to 14.5 years behind bars

from Bianet :: English
A court sentenced Aysel Tuğluk, an independent deputy from the eastern province of Van and the co-chair of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK,) to 14 years and seven months in prison on terrorism related charges.

Turkish pianist accused of insulting Islam
CBS News
Anadolu Agency said Friday that an Istanbul court will decide whether to accept the proposed indictment against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France,

Turkey Charges Pianist Fazil Say Over Twitter Posts

from NYT > Turkey by By SEBNEM ARSU and DANIEL J. WAKIN; Sebnem Arsu reported from Istanbul, and Daniel J. Wakin from New York

Fazil Say, who has said he is an atheist and has criticized Turkey?s pro-Islamic government, is accused of ?publicly insulting religious values.?

Washington?s Celebrity Journalism Hits Istanbul – Elliott Abrams – National Review Online

by Turkish Digest
Washington?s Celebrity Journalism Hits Istanbul
David Ignatius handles Tayyip Erdoğan with kid gloves.

By Elliott Abrams

Turkey is a complex country, but there are two key developments there that demand attention.
One is the increasing repression. Today there are more than 100 journalists in prison, more than in China. The European Federation of Journalists has launched a campaign called ?Set Turkish Journalists Free.?


Police Detains Van Mayor

from Bianet :: English
Law enforcement officials took Bekir Kaya, the mayor of the southeastern province of Van, and five other district mayors under custody today, as well as 10 members of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) as part of the probe into the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK.)

Cologne to Count as a ?Weapon? Before the Eyes of Law

from Bianet :: English
The ?People?s Law Office? (?Halkın Hukuk Bürosu?) has cautioned that the amendments to the Turkish Penal Code proposed in the third judicial package pending in Parliament will widen the scope of the definition of ?weapons? to include deodorants and cologne while increasing penalties for using illegal electricity and water.

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