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Yavuz Baydar
Yavuz Baydar is a Turkish journalist, blogger and co-founder of P24, the Platform for Independent Media. Based in Istanbul, he writes columns for two dailies, TZ and Bugun, with specific focus on domestic and foreign policy issues. His opinion articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung, El País, Al Monitor and the Al-Jazeera website.
In the profession for over 35 years, Baydar has been involved for two decades in the field of press ethics as news ombudsman. He served as president of the Organization of News Ombudsmen (ONO) 2003–2004. and Baydar received The Special Award of the European Press Prize in 2014 for his fight against censorship and defence of professional values in Turkey. He is currently a Shorenstein Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.

Entries by Yavuz Baydar

Farewell to Pino Daniele: A Lifelong Musical Journey to the Center of the Heart

(2) Comments | Posted January 7, 2015 | 9:22 AM

In the lovely summer of 1981, while travelling through my beloved territories in Italy, my free compass after visiting the Umbria Jazz Festival took me to Sardegna. There, in a 'campeggio libero' at at beach near Santa Lucia, I met a free-spirited group of people from Naples. As with meeting...

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Barring Coverage, Assaults and Fear: New Reports Signal SOS for Turkish Media

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 12:00 AM

There seems to be no end in the type of news coming from Turkey: all the stories in bits and pieces insisting on a single pattern; of journalism being paralysed, forced by any means necessary to abandon its social role, in the service of the public.

A reporter from the...

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'Kurdish Peace Process': Erdoğan's Gamble for Absolute Power?

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 9:48 PM

The civilian Kurdish unrest, enveloping tens of Kurdish cities and town in Turkey, leaving 35 people dead and mass destruction of property behind, had the plight of small Syrian Kurdish enclave Kobani as the triggering element.

But the core of mass fury had to with the question Turkey's Kurds...

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Turkish Media in World Press Freedom Day: 'Not Free' at Last

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2014 | 3:49 AM

So, it also happened: with Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan fiercely interfering -- as if he is the 'supreme editor' -- with the editorial independence of Turkish media and endorsing massive manipulations of ownership, and after a horrendous year with sackings of editors, columnists and reporters, Turkey is now rated as...

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Turkey's Media Inches Closer to Central Asian Norms

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 4:45 PM

In Amman, where I am to meet hard-working Arab colleagues, all 450 of them, from 9 countries, to discuss the professional issues, and ever so confusing Arab Awakening process, under the auspices of Arab Journalists for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), I had to update my keynote speech...

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Another Critical Barrier Down Between Turks and Armenians

(2) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 2:42 PM

I was handed by the postman some weeks ago a mid-size package.

It contained the Turkish translation of a monumental work titled A Reference Guide to Modern Armenian Literature 1500-1920, by Professor Kevork Bardakjian, who I had the pleasure of meeting years ago at the University...

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Headscarf in Turkish Parliament Raises the Expactations of Further Reform in a Much Wider Scale

(1) Comments | Posted November 2, 2013 | 3:04 AM

Against the expectations otherwise, it happened without much fuss. When four female deputies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) walked on Thursday, October 31, into the the grand hall of General Assembly of Parliament in Ankara, they knew they were being part of a controversial history....

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Turkey's Independent Media Under Severe Attack

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 2:27 PM

When visiting Warsaw at the end of September for an OSCE conference to address the issue of media ownership and transparency in Turkey, I had a disturbing déjà vu.

Déjà vu started with a colleague, pointing me out that there was a Turkish official delegation there. I...

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40 Years On, Umbria Jazz Attracts, Inspires, Mesmerizes

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 1:36 PM

Arguably, today, no other jazz festival in the world than the one in the heart of medieval Italy, Umbria Jazz, manages to create so much excitement. It is a powerful magnet for jazz lovers and devotees of various other music forms, promising a fruitful 10-day journey of high...

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Istanbul's 'One Minute!' to Erdoğan

(4) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 9:15 AM

If there are messages sent out by the days-long "park revolt" starting from İstanbul and spilling over to other cities, their address is, exclusively, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.


In essence, it is about making everything...

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Turkey's Urban Revolt Signals a Critical Phase in Turkish Politics

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2013 | 11:20 AM

Despite the astonishing, far-reaching changes that Turkey has undergone in recent years, clouds of anxiety are gathering over the country.

The apprehension has little to do with the economy. The negative energy emanating from Syria has a partial impact. The jitters in public sentiment stem essentially from increasingly pronounced links...

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Is Turkey's Crippled Media Freedom on Table When Obama Meets Erdoğan?

(2) Comments | Posted May 14, 2013 | 6:46 PM


Journalism -- but 'good' journalism -- in Turkey, comes with a tough ticket that urges a fight against far too many windmills.

Two days ago I was called by one of those colleagues who, in a baffled tone asked me: 'Can you...

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Jazz Conquers Istanbul, for a Global Event

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 6:39 PM

'Jazz is a balm that heals the spirit' said Al Jarreau, the divine singer of free-form.

'Jazz is, saying, I dare you' added Wayne Shorter, arguably the most creative composer and saxophone player around, and quoted another great saxophonist, Sonny Rollins who, when once asked 'why do you play jazz',...

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Victimized, Vulnerable, Hegemonious, Insensitive: Prime Minister and The Pianist

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 12:31 PM

Intensely busy, intellectually engaged and emotionally very tense, Turkey is in the midst of two seemingly parallel and synched reform processes: a new constitution and peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The objective is obvious. To end a harsh, repressive Republican rule with a new...

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Turkey's PKK Talks Signals Progress: Doors Open for a Pull-out of Rebels

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 4:16 PM

Defying pessimism, Turkey's fragile, defining "peace process", involving the PKK's imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) with the aim of disarmament and political reform, has suddenly changed gears, and stands ready for acceleration.

In the matter of a couple of...

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Which One Is It: Division or Solution on Cyprus?

(2) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 8:54 AM

These interesting times, it seems obvious, exert enormous pressure for most of the countries in the east Mediterranean and the Middle East to make historic, almost existential, choices.

With Egypt increasingly rudderless, and helpless about its economy; Israel finally apologizing to set the record straight with Turkey for a...

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Crisis of Turkey's Editorially Crippled Media Deepens Further

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 2:24 PM

With the exception of a few semi-democracies in Balkans and Eastern Europe, nowhere in the world is the self-destructive role of media proprietors is more visible, more irrational, more aggressive than in Turkey.

Greedy owners of the big media groups - some ideologically close, some distant to the ruling Justice...

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Turkey's Kurdish Spring: Historic Day Full of Hope -- Doubts Too

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2013 | 5:18 PM

On Thursday, as the spring festival Nevruz was celebrated in Diyarbakır, its historic significance was far beyond the typical joy of jumping over fires.

For the millions of Kurds of Turkey it promises to go down in history as a powerful momentum, a memorable threshold towards the end of a...

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Merkel's Visit to Turkey Marks a Positive Change of Mind

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 10:55 AM

As the eurozone crisis shows signs of further deepening with the new uncertainties in the wake of Italian 'non-elections', Germany is increasingly under strain to keep the European Union intact.

Berlin has to deal not only with the brewing anti-austerity and anti-unionism in the Mediterranean strip of the EU...

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Turkey, Weary of the EU, Tiptoes Towards the Shanghai Five

(3) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 2:02 PM

Turkey's popular, charismatic and impulsive prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, never ceases to surprise. His recent bombshell was about Turky's flirtation with the "Shanghai Five," The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

In a recent TV interview Erdoğan was asked a simple, almost a "too shy" question about where the government is...

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