Supporting Freelance Journalists in Turkey

Supporting Freelance Journalists in Turkey
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 Written by Elisabet Cantenys

Turkey is currently the world's worst jailer of journalists. The Trust is working with local partners to support Turkish freelancers who have been targeted.


The Trust has done a lot of work in Istanbul during the last twelve months. In April last year, with Dart Center Europe, we ran a Trauma workshop for international freelance journalists and photographers working in Syria. In September we organised a three day conference with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) which brought together local, regional and international journalists and partners to look at how we can better co-ordinate our efforts to support those covering the Syrian conflict.

But we have also been supporting Turkish freelancers - many of whom are going through incredibly difficult times right now.
 
Press freedom organisations named Turkey as 2013's worst jailer of journalists, for the second year running. More than 60 journalists are currently in prison on terrorism and anti-state charges, and thousands of legal proceedings have been issued against those who are critical of the government, or who express opinions contrary to the official position.
 
This is having a devastating effect on journalists' lives - and on the lives of their families. Many are caught up in lengthy legal proceedings, marginalised by a society who believe they are terrorists, and unable to find work. Pre-trial detentions are also common.
 
The Trust has been supporting several Turkish freelancers who have been targeted, and we have also been working with local partners in Turkey on a long-term initiative that will help freelancers get back to work. We hope to bring you news of this in the coming months.

The above video is a short multimedia film that we showed at the Rory Peck Awards ceremony in November. It's about Turkish freelancers Nadiye Gur and Arzu Demir, and was made by freelance photographer James Arthur Allen, with support from Falmouth University.

Elisabet Cantenys is Head of Programmes at the Rory Peck Trust.

Image: Nadiye Gur, taken by James Arthur Allen

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