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Media are collateral victims of surge in tension

first_imgNews Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor News Organisation to go further TurkeyEurope – Central Asia (Photos: Ozan Kose / AFP) Receive email alerts News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Turkey April 2, 2021 Find out morecenter_img RSF_en TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders calls for a de-escalation in tension and respect for freedom of information in Turkey. Tension has mounted dangerously since last week’s suicide bombing in Suruç and the media have been affected both by government censorship and generalized violence amid a resumption in fighting with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).Türkçe / Read in TurkishViewing the government as the accomplices of Islamic State, whose 20 July bombing in Suruç left 32 dead and more than 100 wounded, the PKK has been targeting Turkish policemen and soldiers, and government forces have responded with air strikes on both Islamic State in Syria and the PKK in Iraq.The peace process between the government and Kurdish rebels that began in late 2012 is now completely derailed. At the same time, clashes have erupted throughout the country between the security forces and various opposition groups. In the name of “combatting terrorism,” the authorities have arrested hundreds of activists, especially in pro-Kurdish circles. And journalists are paying dearly for this decline in the political climate.Massive censorshipShortly after the start of the air strikes, the High Council for Telecommunications (TIB) ordered the blocking of around 100 news and information websites on 25 July. And, in accordance with recent amendments to Internet legislation, court decisions subsequently endorsed these orders.According to a list compiled by Engelli Web, a specialist website, at least 65 of the targeted sites are pro-Kurdish ones. They include the sites of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, the DIHA, ANHA and ANF news agencies, the Rojnews and BestaNûçe TV stations, and local newspapers such as Yüksekova Haber and Cizre Haber.Rudaw, a news website that supports the ruling party in Iraqi Kurdistan, and left-wing news outlets such as Sendika.org and the ETHA news agency have also been blocked.A total of 23 Twitter accounts have also been rendered inaccessible since 25 July and the entire Twitter website was blocked for several hours on 22 July after a local magistrates’ court banned photos and video of the Suruç bombing.Dozens of journalists yesterday brought a complaint against Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç for accusing the Evrensel and Özgür Gündem newspapers on 24 July of being “criminal machines.” The Reporters Without Borders representative in Turkey, Erol Önderoglu, supported this initiative.Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu meanwhile invited leading Turkish news media editors and executives to a briefing yesterday about the ongoing “anti-terrorist operations” and used the occasions to remind them of the government’s “red lines,” as Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously did at the height of the clashes with the PKK in 2011.The editors of three newspapers that support the religious and social movement led by US-based preacher Fethullah Gülen – Zaman, Taraf and Bugün – and the editor of the left-wing daily Birgün were not invited to the briefing.“What with their massive censorship of Kurdish newspapers and their attempts to control other media outlets, the authorities seem to be succumbing to their old reflexes,” said Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“But far from calming things down, this repressive spiral will only accentuate frustrations and help to fuel tension. A return to the peace process and the continuation of democratic reforms, including reforms that encourage freedom of information, are an integral part of the solution to regional security challenges.”Bihr added: “A relaxation of the taboo on covering Kurdish issues was one of the very few positive aspects of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s record, one otherwise marked by increasingly authoritarian excesses. A drastic reduction in the space for democratic debate would be disastrous for Turkish society and for the Turkish government’s international obligations.”TensionOn 24 July, the security forces defused a bomb outside the headquarters of the pro-government Star media group for which the MLKP, a small, far-left organization, was widely held responsible. The Star media group nonetheless issued a statement attacking the HDP, a pro-Kurdish party, and the Dogan media group, which supports the Kemalist opposition.Cüneyt Yavuz, a journalist with the Özgür Gündem daily, was injured by a teargas grenade during clashes between police and far-left activists in Istanbul on 26 July. He was covering a police operation near a mosque that was preventing the burial of a female activist who had been killed two days earlier.In response to the attacks on the media, Reporters Without Borders urges all parties to act with restraint and to do everything possible to ensure that journalists are able to work safely. Turkey is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. April 28, 2021 Find out more Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law April 2, 2021 Find out more Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit July 28, 2015 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Media are collateral victims of surge in tension Related documents rsf_280715_tr-2.pdfPDF – 131.99 KB Newslast_img read more

Illegal loan shark was claiming social welfare while making €150,000 profit

first_imgEmail Advertisement WhatsApp Twitter Facebook Printcenter_img NewsBreaking newsIllegal loan shark was claiming social welfare while making €150,000 profitBy admin – December 23, 2013 1083 Linkedin by Andrew CareySign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up [email protected] LOAN shark, who made €150,000 from moneylending and boasted to Gardaí that he never failed to collect a debt, was found to be claiming social welfare.Ray McInerney (38) of Rhebogue Hill, Rhebogue, Limerick pleaded guilty to illegal moneylending on dates between the January 1, 2010 and July 9, 2012.Limerick Circuit Court heard that McInerney, who was unemployed and claiming benefit, had “little difficulty in making threats of a serious nature”.Judge Carroll Moran was told that he loaned one customer €20,000 and demanded that €26,000 be repaid. The loan was repaid after the man took out a €7,000 credit union loan to clear the debt and he thought that would be the end of the matter.However, McInerney threatened the customer’s son with a “barrage of calls and texts” and threatened to kill or seriously harm him on November 5, 2011. He also pleaded guilty to persistently telephoning the victim on 49 occasions over a three week period.State prosecutor John O’Sullivan said the calls were “sinister and disturbing.”Detective Garda Pauraic O’Dwyer of Roxboro Garda Station said McInerney’s motivation for the persistent harassment was to exert control over his borrowers. Over €400,000 passed through his bank account between March 2005 and February 2012 when he was unemployed.During a Garda interview, he said that he never failed to collect on a loan and made about €150,000 in profit.€10,000 was seized from a bank account by the Criminal Assets Bureau and a “tick list” was found in a urinal in an en-suite bathroom at his house.Defence counsel Brian McInerney said that during the course of his lending, Ray McInerney had over 40 satisfied clients. He now wished to apologise and express his “deep regrets” for his actions.Sentencing was adjourned until January 17 to allow the court consider the matter. Previous articleMinister takes on challenge of ending homelessnessNext articleHungarian grandmother admits running Limerick brothel adminlast_img read more

Federation calls for legal changes to improve net pension plan

first_imgAt January-end, however, the average funding of Dutch pension funds stood at 104%.A spokesman for the €382bn civil service scheme ABP confirmed that it was unable to properly implement the net pension plan under existing rules. It said employers and workers should look into the matter.The €182bn healthcare scheme PFZW indicated that it was even considering to cease offering net arrangements if legal changes failed to materialise.A spokesman for the €5.2bn pension fund PNO Media, however, said that cancelling its net plan was not on its agenda for now.As the net pension plans have been introduced recently, hardly any participants have suffered from adverse effects so far.ABP made clear that so far no more than six of its participants with net pension arrangements have retired.Meanwhile, Helma Lodders, MP for the liberal party VVD, has urged the government to come up with a solution for the problem before the national elections in March. The Dutch Pensions Federation has warned that participants in the new net pension plans for high earners could lose up to 30% of their paid-in premiums when they convert their savings into fixed benefits at retirement.It has urged the government to come up with legal adjustments to fix the problem which, in its opinion, would be relatively easy.Net pension plans were introduced in 2015, after the government decided to cap the tax-facilitated pensions accrual at a salary of €100,000.The federation said the problem was a particular issue at pension funds with a low funding ratio, as benefits at retirement need to be purchased in a scheme’s basic plan against the pension fund’s required coverage, which is approximately 125%.last_img read more