Reports of difficulties for journalists working for Zaman publication; reports of difficulties for followers of Fethullah Gulen; recourse available for members of Fethullah Gulen who are being pressured by authorities [TUR37826.E]

According to the 1999 Annual Report of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Ayse Pakdil and Emine Dolmaci, reporters for the "conservative daily" Zaman, were denied press cards by the Turkish Press Card Commission. The Commission, a body of journalists that reports to the prime minister's office, reportedly denied Pakdil and Dolmaci, along with one other reporter from the Yurt News Agency, accreditation because they wore head scarves (ibid). As well, the name Kamil Kosapmar, a journalist with Zaman, is contained on a list of "murdered journalists" (Progressive Journalists Association n.d.). However, it is noted that Kosapmar was "not killed due to journalistic reasons" (ibid).

In addition to the information on the difficulties faced by Fethullah Gulen followers contained in TUR37763.E of 11 September 2001, a Ph.D candidate in Sociology at the University of Michigan stated that there is no recourse available to Fethullah Gulen followers who have been dispelled from the military and are seeking a reconsideration of the military court decision (11 Sept. 2001). Civilian courts, the Ph.D candidate noted, have no authority over military courts in Turkey (ibid). For Fethullah Gulen followers who have been expelled from universities, recourse is available through the civil courts (ibid). However, these courts are not free to give a counter verdict and those judges who find in favour of the complainant can be put under investigation and face "pressure" (ibid).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). 1999. 1999 Annual Report. [Accessed 17 Sept. 2001]

Ph.D Candidate in Sociology, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor. 11 September 2001. Correspondence from candidate who is currently researching the Fethullah Gulen movement and recently presented a conference paper entitled "The Politics of Representation of Fethullah Gulen Movement in Turkey."

Progressive Journalists Association. n.d. "Murdered Journalists: 1905-1999." [Accessed 29 Aug. 2001]

Additional Sources Consulted

Current History

IRB databases

Jane's Intelligence Review


The Middle East

Middle East Report

The Muslim World

Resource Centre. Country File.

Internet sites including:

Amnesty International



Committee to Protect Journalists

Human Rights Internet

Human Rights Net

Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Without Frontiers

International Federation of Journalists

International Freedom of Expression Exchange

International Press Institute

International Relations and Security Network

Progressive Journalists Association

Radio Free Europe

UN News

World News Connection