for diverse, democratic and accountable media
On 16 February 2013 in my blog ‘Journalists trusted as little as bankers’ http://thespark.me.uk/?m=201302 I reported the results of a Ipso/MORI poll which reported that journalists and bankers were trusted by just 21% of the people. The bottom group at 18% was taken by politicians. You would have thought that post the Leveson Inquiry, public perception of journalism might have improved. In fact its got worse.
The failure of the coup launched by a faction of the military on 15 July has resulted in a massive purge by the Erdogan's government, while the reckless military adventurism has weakened, possibly fatally, what was left of the country's democratic framework. In addition it left more than 200 dead and over 1,500 injured, mostly civilians who went onto the streets to resist the coup.
Friday 25 March was a bleak day for journalism, the rule of law and the public’s right to know, when an Istanbul court ruled that the entire trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül should be held behind closed doors. Earlier scores of their supporters turn up to the court to show their solidarity with the two journalists who face charges of espionage, aiding a terrorist organisation and disclosing classified documents and reporting the supply of weapons to rebels in Syria by the Turkish security services. They could face life imprisonment if found guilty. The case resumes on 1 April.
At last better news from Turkey with the Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruling on 25 February that the rights ofCumhuriyet newspaper journalistsCan Dündar and Erdem Gül had been violated. The ruling highlighted violations of Article 19 (right to personal liberty and security), Article 26 (freedom of expression) and Article 28 (press freedom) in Turkey’s Constitution. The Court voted for their release by 12 votes to 3. It could mark a return to the rule of law in Turkey and sets a promising example for other similar cases.