Author Archives: yavuzbaydar

About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Erdoğan’s ‘Global Legitimacy Tour’ to reach its successful finale in Brussels

President Erdoğan’s march on the road map, very clearly defined by him for long, proceeds with no hurdles. On Sunday, he was re-elected as party chairman after nearly 1000 days of absence, and, after gaining control in most of the … Continue reading

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Live and let die: Are hunger strikes a cynical tool for ‘martyrdom politics’?

”If the power targets the very life, then the life itself becomes, per se, a resistance to power.” This motto often at display in strikes and social resistence in public spaces, has carved itself into memory. In the past week … Continue reading

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Taboo-breaking Belge Publishing House raided: ‘Black history of Turkey is back’

When I heard the news, I called him first thing in the morning. At the other end of the line, there was this elderly gentleman – 70 years old – known as one of the boldest taboo-breakers in Turkey. ‘Good … Continue reading

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Is Erdoğan on a collision course with Trump on PYD/YPG against Jihadists?

Clash or accord? When Turkish President Erdoğan meets the President of the USA, Donald Trump, on May 18, the fog which blurs the future of the relations between the tow allies will disperse. The key issue on the agenda, from … Continue reading

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Post-referendum Erdoğan: No mercy!

Some optimists had predicted that once Erdoğan had won the referendum, he would feel a little more relaxed, and start showing signs of softening. How wrong they were. These are the days Turkey is exposed an endurannce test over how … Continue reading

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In Malta, the European Union held the funeral of Turkey’s membership bid

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu, the key meeting of the EU foreign ministers in Malta a few days ago could be summarized in five words: ‘They have realized their mistakes.’ Really? Was the whole fuss about this? Çavuşoğlu … Continue reading

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Were Turks, Kurds and the foreigners ‘guilty’ of getting Erdoğan wrong?

I have the bitter sense that we passed that despicable threshold, perhaps to a point of no return. The result of the referendum was the sealing of an autocratic rule; a stamp for legitimacy for the leader who so wished … Continue reading

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‘Back to square one’: what downgrading of Turkey by PACE means for its relations

So, in a move that came as no surprise, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has voted to reopen a monitoring procedure against Turkey. It means a downgrading of the country’s status, in a way ‘moving it … Continue reading

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Why the odds are not on the opposition’s side in post-referendum Turkey

The brawl that erupted after the referendum will not easily go away. So, as predicted, post-referendum Turkey is now dragged into a deeper crisis. ‘No’ camp had dreaded secretly that if ‘yes’ side had won with a big margin – … Continue reading

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Referendum moment: Will Turkey say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to Erdoğan’s power grab?

That the race in Turkey’s existential referendum is neck and neck is in itself self-explanatory. A nation sharply divided by half, not simply in civilized disagreement, but turned against each other in mistrust, enmity, vengeance. A day before the country’s … Continue reading

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