This Project is co-funded by the European Union and the Government of Republic of Turkey.

Roundtable Meeting in Brussels

Roundtable Meeting in Brussels

As the last event of the project, a roundtable meeting was organised on 22 September 2015 at 12:30, at the TÜSİAD EU-Brussels Representative Office (13, Avenue des Gaulois, 1040, Brussels). The meeting gathered representatives from European Commission, European Parliament, EU External Action, relevant NGOs and press members. At the opening coordinator Mr Metin Celal and TUSIAD Brussels Chair Mr Bahadır Kaleağası made welcome speeches and administrative manager Selen Akcali gave brief information about the aims, activities and results of the project. Communications manager Yonca Cingöz made presentation on the main features and highlights of the final report called “Report on the Freedom to publish in Turkey on the way to EU Accession”. The meeting provided the team an opportunity to exchange information and experiences on the freedom to publish in Turkey in particular and freedom of expression in general, make new contact from EU institutions and civil bodies and develop the international network created in the course of the...
Ankara Visit

Ankara Visit

One of our last activities was our visit to Ankara on 3-4 September 2015 to present striking details of the “Report on Freedom to Publish in Turkey on the way to European Union Accession” to the related authorities.Project Coordinator Metin Celal, Communications Manager Yonca Cingoz and Administrative Manager Selen Akcali made visits to Mehmet Oktem, Vice Director for Laws and Sumeyye Kircali, Lawyer at Directorate Generale for European Union at the Ministry of Justice. The team also met with three experts at the Ministry of EU and Andreea Schmidt, the Vice General Secretary of Policial Affairs and the expert Didem Bulutlar from  the Delegation of Turkey and the EU. During the visits information and opinions about the report in particular and the project as a whole in general were exchanged. These visits have been a step forwarsd towards one of the project aims, to create and develop an advocacy process between publishing sector and policy makers in Turkey....
Stockholm Visit

Stockholm Visit

Project coordinator Metin Celâl, Communications Manager Yonca Cingöz and Events Manager Cenk Onturk had a visit to Stockholm on 28-29 April 2015. The main aim of the visit was to meet with the project partner Swedish Publishers Association and assess the project’s process. Another aim was to gather information about publishing sector and freedom of expression in Sweden in terms of legislation, implementations and the role and effect of civil society on this issue to be able to compare the situation with Turkey. First meeting was held at our partner’s representative Ola Wallin’s own publishing house, Ersatz Co together with Wallin and his publisher partner, Anna Bengtsson. The project team was informed about the profile of the publishing house and their observations about the current state of book publishing in Sweden. On the same day, the team had a formal dinner with Wallin, Bengtsson, Swedish PEN President Ola Larsmo, Member of Swedish Parliament and Dep. Member of Committee on EU Affairs Désirée Pethrus Engström, Member of Swedish Parliament Ida Karkiainen. Parliament members reflected the Swedish politicians’ attitude to freedom of expression and publishing issues and how they perceive the situation in Turkey. The team informed the attendants with data from TPA’s former Freedom to Publish Reports. On 29 April morning, the team met with Tomas Lappalainen, Swedish Writers Union President in the Union office and talked about the problems from writers’ point of view. Afterwards, the team visited the office of Swedish Publishers Association to meet with the Managing Director Kristina Ahlinder and Legal Advisor Mikaela Zabrodsky. Ahlinder and Zabrodsky shared comprehensive information about the legislation related to book...
Closing Conference in Istanbul, Final Report Released

Closing Conference in Istanbul, Final Report Released

“On the Way to Freedom to Publish” Project Closing Conference was held on 7 July, 2015, at the CVK Park Bosphorus Hotel, İstanbul. Publishers, writers, librarians, academics, NGO representatives and several journalists from national newspapers attended the conference. At the opening, Turkish Publishers Association President Metin Celâl and Project Partner, Swedish Publishers Association EC Member and International Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee Chair Ola Wallin made speeches. Celâl gave the details about the project activities and awareness raising effect of thes. Wallin gave examples of the barriers against FoX around the world, naming Turkey around the most problematic countries he is working on. After opening speeches, lawyer Tora Pekin, writer of the project’s “Report on the freedom to publish in Turkey on the way to EU Accession” shared his impression about the current situation in Turkey by giving very recent examples of sued authors. At the second part of the conference, writer Yekta Kopan, Istanbul Bilgi University  Professor Asli Tunc and lawyer Haluk Inanici presented their professional assessments on the report. The meeting ended with questions of the attendees and...
Van Regional Meeting

Van Regional Meeting

Project’s last regional meeting was held on 25 April 2015, at Elite World Hotel, Van. The guest speakers of the meeting, lawyer Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Librarians Society of Turkey Vice President Aydın İleri and writer Yavuz Ekinci made short speeches, sharing their experiences on freedom to publish in Turkey. Publishers, academics, journalists and writers from around Van and Hakkari attended the meeting. Ekinci issued censorship and auto-censorship by examplifying his feelings and anxiety while writing his novel on Hizbullah, the fear he felt after the reactions from his close community and his self-interrogation about why he chose this subject to write on. Kerestecioğlurelated censorship and auto-censorship with the judicial culture in Turkey, saying “This prohibitory judicial culture creates the auto-censorship. The works are are abolished before they are created by the individuals by this mechanism and by a boomerang effect, one case of censorship brings about the next”. İleri mentioned the banning on books goes on in Turkey with the examples from his field of expertise, libraries. He told that in local level, library administers apply various mechanisms of censorship, initiated always with the notifications of some “sensitive” citizens, individuals targeting some books. He said, “Then rapidly some commissions are being formed to delibarate on these warnings and banning decisions are made. We do not know whom these commissions consist of and what they are capable of, we do not know any of these”. Attendees stressed on the fact that in the last few years, because of KCK operations lost of publishers and journalists living in the region were taken into custody. The meeting ended after the comments of the...
Awareness Raising in Samsun Book Fair

Awareness Raising in Samsun Book Fair

A panel was organized in TUYAP Samsun Black Sea Book Fair to raise awareness of the readers and general public attending the fair about the concept of freedom to publish, this history of this struggle and about our project. Panel was held in 19 May, at 19 Mayıs Hall. Moderated by publisher Fahri Aral, journalists Nedim Şener and Sibel Oral, Turkey Writers Union President Mustafa Köz made speeches sharing their experiences and comments on this history and current situation in Turkey....

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of
Turkish Publishers Association and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.