Turkey: Opposing views perceived as insult


New report on publishing in Turkey reveals hard line state policy

Turkey is going through a time in history whereby the concept of ‘criticism’ has lost its substance,” according to a new report from Turkish Publishers Association.

The report sums up that “any opinion opposing the views and positions of the politically powerful and not praising them are perceived as an ‘insult’ or ‘defamation’.”

It claims that “any political dissent is subjected to intimidation. Triggered by this attitude, negative effects on political and social polarisation has reached all segments of the society as well as the social life including publishing.”

According to the report a myriad of legal actions initiated by state and government officials against news reports and articles appearing in books and periodicals have begun to result in substantial fines as well as prison terms for writers and publishers.

Dangers that artists face
Earlier this year, Freemuse together with the Turkey-based freedom of expression organisations Siayah Bant and Initiative for Freedom of Expression submitted a report to the United Nations addressing many of the problems related to freedom of expression in Turkey. The joint report concluded that, “Law suits, arrests, threats and banning orders, these are all dangers that artists in Turkey who touch on sensitive issues face today.”

The new report from Turkish Publishers Association concludes that during the past year “there were substantial increase in censorship attempts and subsequent investigations and legal proceedings during periods when significant issues led the country’s political agenda. Media blackouts have become routine. Reporting and commenting on almost all important breaking news were immediately banned and it has become nearly impossible to be informed through the mainstream media.”

Turkish Publishers Association’s report ‘2015 Publication Freedom Report’ documents violations regarding freedom of publication in Turkey between June 2014 and June 2015. According to the report, statesmen have been complainants against 392 writers and publishers within one year.


» The name of the project is ‘On the way to freedom to publish’. See:

» For the full report, see:
YOR-Haziran-2014-2015-eng.pdf (PDF, 32 pages)

Turkish Publishers Association (TPA) is a national non-governmental organisation representing the aspects of book and journal publishing in Turkey. Established in 1985 in Istanbul by publishers and publishing distributors, TPA is the oldest nationwide publishing industry association with over 300 members. TPA is also a member of the International Publishers Association (IPA). One of the missions of TPA is to work towards ensuring the freedom of thought, expression and publishing in Turkey. Read more


» Publication freedom project by Turkish Publishers Association:

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