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.

‘Young Turks’, again in ‘opposition-in- exile’ after a century, in Köln, Germany

‘Do you have anybody nominated as Ahmed Riza Bey?’ I asked some in the crowd. It was meant to be a joke, and many have responded with a laughter. Some pointed out impishly to an elderly figure standing here or … Okumaya devam et

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‘The AKP regards Turkish immigrants in Europe as hostages or as instruments…’

‘Ankara sees those from Turkey living in Europe as ‘hostages’, as ‘tools’, thus puts their existences, their lives at risk. Those with origins from Turkey who are regarded already as temporary and unsettled in the countries they live in have … Okumaya devam et

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With the Emergency Rule extending, Turkish prisons turn into powder kegs

The movie theatre was jam-packed. As we walked onto the stage last Friday at the International Human Rights Film Festival (FIFDH) in Geneva, I had the words of a Kurdish colleague, held for months in jail, swirling in my head. … Okumaya devam et

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How Erdoğan thrives on ‘crisis strategy’; a game on constantly inventing enemies

‘A spectre is haunting Europe–the spectre of authoritarianism.” Is it fair to rewrite the first sentence of Marx-Engels manifesto in this manner? Possibly. As we observe the worrisome process of ‘Erdoğan vs Germany’, developing into ‘Erdoğan vs Netherlands’, it is … Okumaya devam et

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Clash of Civilisations: With its two ministers as Persona Non Grata, Turkey exports its deep crisis into the heart of the EU

Once upon a time, yet not so long ago, Turkish President Erdoğan seemed keen on the leadership of ‘Alliance of Civilisations’; a project launched with the (former) Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero as co-chairman. One of the core ideas was to … Okumaya devam et

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Erdoğan’s War

”Turkey has always been a worrisome country with less freedom that you could demand, but now, things have come to an explosive point. Since Turkey is still regarded as a, let’s say, European civilized country, it’s all the more worrying. … Okumaya devam et

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Be realistic: Forget Cyprus

When the latest round of talks began between the parts in Cyprus, there were many colleagues and friends who were swept along with enthusiasm. ‘This time, this is it!’ was the phrase I had heard more than a year ago. … Okumaya devam et

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Turkish-Iranian feud part of Ankara’s balancing act, as power game intensifies

Amid growing uncer­tainties in the geopolitical game over the future of war-torn Syria, the sudden eruption of tension between Turkey and Iran is just another phase of sectarian arm wrestling in the region. During a recent visit to Bahrain, Turkish … Okumaya devam et

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A pianist in Turkey handcuffed: you’ll know it’s the end when the music dies

As I sat down to write these lines, the ever-developing story of Turkey continued to pass before me like a fast-forward movie – perhaps, like a docu-drama whose inspirational roots go back to Germany preparing for a referendum in August … Okumaya devam et

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A Turkish scholar joins the elite exodus: ‘Fear, hypocrisy, deceit rules academia’

When Mine Gencel Bek and I had met – out of coincidence – in Boston in the autumn of 2014, we had no idea we would find ourselves as outcasts, although then we were concerned enough about what sorts of … Okumaya devam et

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