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Özgün Özçer

Özgün Özçer is a journalist and administrator at the Istanbul-based Platform for Independent Journalism (P24). He has worked in several Turkish media outlets including Taraf, Hurriyet Daily News, and Birgün. He has also worked at NGOs, such as UNICEF Turkey and Amnesty Turkey.

18 October 2018
Asia, Turkey

Peace is the deadliest word

It was meant to be a massive show of support for peace and democracy. It is remembered as the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history. It was our darkest hour and, three years later, we are still waiting for dawn.
Özgün Özçer
18 September 2018
Asia, Turkey

The world’s largest airport—no delays but plenty of sweat and tears

It was meant to be a show of might, a showcase of Turkey’s economic status under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). The size and capacity of Istanbul’s new airport were designed to make Heathrow look small, Charles de Gaulle blush with embarrassment and O’Hare turn green with envy. From groundbreaking ceremony […]
Özgün Özçer
10 August 2018
Asia, Turkey

Mesut Özil and Deniz Naki play a game of two halves

When asked what was more difficult, being a Turkish football player in Germany or a Kurdish player in Turkey, Deniz Naki didn’t hesitate. “Of course, being a Kurd and Alevi [a dissident branch of Islam whose members tend to social liberals] in Turkey,” said the footballer who played both for St Pauli in Hamburg and […]
Özgün Özçer
14 July 2018
Asia, Turkey

The “Unaccountables”: Turkey’s new government revealed amidst deadly train disaster

The preparations were complete. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was about to be sworn as the country’s first president invested with super-executive powers. Erdoğan had triumphed over the chaos and mayhem of an aborted coup two years earlier to fulfil a career-long ambition. However like the protagonist of a Shakespeare play, this victory was to have a […]
Özgün Özçer
7 July 2018
Asia, Turkey

Erdoğan mulling to bring back death penalty, with God’s will

Regress is progress. This could be one of the doublethink slogans of Ingsoc omitted by George Orwell in his magnum opus 1984. But under Tayyip Erdoğan and his ultra-right allies who helped him be reelected for a second term, albeit this time with full presidential powers, doublethink is far from being fiction – and dystopia […]
Özgün Özçer
9 June 2018
Asia, Turkey

Turkey’s war on rap: Hip Hop artist Ezhel faces up to 10 years in prison

Urban Dictionary defines “dangerous” as “cool and sexy” but in “a James Dean rebel sort of way.” Turkish prosecutors define “cool and sexy” as the sort of thing which should get you arrested. As for hip hop, if the experience of Ezhel – by common consent Turkey’s most creative rapper – is anything to go […]
Özgün Özçer
19 May 2018
Asia, Turkey

Gaza conflict reverberates across Turkey – again

Turkish leaders are furious after more than 60 Palestinian protesters were killed on the Gaza border, but opposition cries hypocrisy.
Fatma Demirelli
14 May 2018
Asia, Turkey

Turkey early elections: Will “ENOUGH” be enough?

When Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s president, called for snap election on June 24, more than a year ahead of schedule, he was hoping to catch the country’s already fragmented opposition even further off guard. There was no magic formula to make secularists, Turkish nationalists, Kurds, leftists and pious conservative malcontents all unite and time was already […]
Özgün Özçer
27 April 2018
Asia, Turkey

“Thou shalt not kiss or whatever”

It takes a brave bureaucrat to contradict Bertolt Brecht but Turkey’s top broadcasting watchdog did just that when it issued a million Turkish lira fine (€200k) for a simple kiss.
Murat Şevki Çoban
21 April 2018
Asia, Turkey

In Turkey, calling for peace lands you in jail

Students, academics, and a young teacher have been jailed or sentenced to prison for the most innocent of all charges: Publicly calling for peace.
Özgün Özçer