Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies
Most of the media employees work outside the press law regulating the rights of journalists (known as the Act 212) and without permanent contracts and job security. Media workers who are not provided a contract under the Act 212 cannot obtain a press card and cannot become a member of Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) which is the only trade union that has the authority to negotiate collective agreements for journalists. Until the 1990s, the TGS could negotiate collective agreements with most major newspapers. However, at the beginning of the 1990s, pressure from media owners put an end to the influence of the TGS and discouraged union organizing. Today, the unilateral contracts are imposed to journalists by the media conglomerates which include provisions that are used to dismiss journalists easily. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security the number of registered journalists with permanent contracts is 14.494. Lack of minority Press The newspapers of non-Muslim minorities (Armenian, Jewish and Greek) in Turkey are losing their readership giving harm to the diversity and pluralism of the society. They have extremely limited circulations ranging from 500 to 2,000. For instance, Şalom, a 16-page weekly for Turkey’s Jewish community, is relatively young compared to newspapers of other non-Muslim groups. Established in 1947, it was published in Ladino, a 500-year-old language spoken by Jews who moved to the Ottoman Empire from Spain in 1492. In the 1980s, it switched to Turkish for the younger generation that no longer spoke Ladino in their daily lives, but one page in the newspaper is still published in this language. Şalom’s current circulation is 18,000 copies which dropped from 50,000 in the 1950s13. It has 40 authors that regularly contribute on a voluntary basis and 15 employees. The newspaper has also iPad and iPhone applications to attract young readers and it reaches wider audience online. The Greek Orthodox minority’s main newspaper, the 86year old daily, Apoyevmatini (Mid-Afternoon) has recently faced the threat of closure. Because of the shrinking population of Greek minority in the country from 90,000 to 3,000 over the past five decades and the economic cri13. Tuduk, Mine, “Azınlıkların Sesi Kısık,” Radikal, July 20, 2011, p. 18-19.
Turkey on the European doorstep
Published on Feb 16, 2012
A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...