Media crackdown in Turkey: an update

As you might be aware, one of SND’s longtime members, Fevzi Yazici, was imprisoned last year as part of a government crackdown on the media following a July 2016 coup attempt. He is one of 30 Zaman journalists facing life sentences for alleged links to the coup. Fevzi attended many SND workshops – most recently SND San Francisco where he spoke at the closing banquet about the issues facing his country, which imprisons more journalists than any other nation.

Fevzi’s wife and his former colleagues at Zaman newspaper — some of whom remain in Turkey, others who are living in exile in Europe and the U.S. — have remained in touch with me. During a year in prison, Fevzi has had two court appearances to date. His next court appearance is Nov. 13.

Fevzi was allowed to meet with his wife recently, and wanted to pass along a few words to the SND community:

Dear friends…

I’m calling you from a shrunken small world. I realize and miss everything little thing I took for granted… I am here in prison because of a crime I am accused of that I didn’t do or take part in. I am really having a difficult time to the find words to tell you the situation I am in. Thick walls were built between me and life! Almost I cannot breathe… I missed my family, my two sons, I missed my friends, I missed drawing and designing, I mean I missed my life that was taken away from me unexpectedly one morning suddenly.

But through all that struggle I am sending this message with feelings of peace that I am innocent! And I am living a life by the longing to meet you again, sooner rather than later.

My country is passing through hard days and I believe the solution will come from above. It gives me great comfort to know that even these horrific days will pass and in the near future especially for my two sons, they will be honored by their dad and even my country, too.

SND has an important part in my life. For years I was honored to have work there representing my country. I am hopeful that when I get my freedom, I will work more determinedly for design, for the country, for the world to make it better through this experience.

Thank you for all your support and prayers… hope to see you soon.

– Fevzi

About Stephen Komives

is Executive Director of the Society for News Design.

8 comments

We, as the society we are, must do everything we can to request the government of Turkey for Fevzi’s freedom or at least a fair trial. We cannot look away and sigh. Let’s get our act together.

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