He lived with close friends in Gazi, one of Istanbul’s pop­u­lar and rev­o­lu­tion­ary neigh­bor­hoods. Like all young jour­nal­ists, he did not have a fixed roof or home. He wan­dered like a pil­grim with his back­pack and took photos.

His work quick­ly caught the atten­tion of those in pow­er… He had pho­tographed and record­ed images dur­ing the oper­a­tions called « Ditch­es » that began in 2015 in Kur­dis­tan, for instance, and which cen­tered on Sûr, Cizre and Nusay­bin. Because of this work, he was tar­get­ed by those medias who func­tion as the media bureaus for the AKP regime in Turkey.

Çağ­daş is an inter­na­tion­al­ly known and appre­ci­at­ed pho­to-jour­nal­ist. At the begin­ning of 2017, he was select­ed by the British Jour­nal of Pho­tog­ra­phy for its list of « Young promis­ing pho­tog­ra­phers to watch ». He works with inter­na­tion­al news agen­cies such as AP, AFP, Get­ty Images but also with The New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Jour­nal, Wash­ing­ton Post, Newsweek, Politi­co, Bloomberg, BBC and BBC Turkey and Buz­zfeed, as well as with 140journos in Turkey.

Çağdaş ErdoğanÇağ­daş was tak­en into cus­tody on Sat­ur­day Sep­tem­ber 2nd for pho­tograph­ing a build­ing belong­ing to the MIT (Turk­ish Secu­ri­ty) in Kadıköy on Istanbul’s Asian shore. Dur­ing the 12 days in cus­tody, he had no access to his lawyer, nor were his close ones, friends and col­leagues informed of his fate. Çağ­daş was brought before a judge on Fri­day Sep­tem­ber 15 and he is jailed, as many oth­er jour­nal­ists before him, on the accu­sa­tion of belong­ing to a ter­ror­ist organization.

As soon as his incar­cer­a­tion was known, the Com­mit­tee for the Pro­tec­tion of Jour­nal­ists (CPJ) whose head­quar­ters are in New York issued a press release call­ing for the annul­ment of the tri­al against Çağ­daş Erdoğan and for his lib­er­a­tion : “Pho­tograph­ing a build­ing is not and offence and even less is it a ter­ror­ist activ­i­ty. » Robert Mahoney, Vice-Pres­i­dent of the com­mit­tee also expressed him­self : “Çağ­daş Erdoğan is being pun­ished because he is a jour­nal­ist who works on top­ics the author­i­ties do not wish to see pub­lished. These illog­i­cal accu­sa­tions must be lift­ed and he must, like numer­ous jour­nal­ists in prison, be lib­er­at­ed rapidly. »

Valenti­na Abenavoli, edi­tor of Çağ­daş’ first book also expressed her sup­port and spec­i­fied that the jour­nal­ist had been jailed because of his work in Turk­ish regions main­ly pop­u­lat­ed by Kurds.

Tory Kılıç

READ ALSO Çağ­daş Erdoğan’s Night Jour­ney by Sela­hat­tin Sevi

In sup­port for Çağ­daş, savor his work. Here are his photos…

British Jour­nal of Pho­tog­ra­phy • Ones to Watch: Çağ­daş Erdoğan
Graph­ic muse­um of human­i­ty • Istanbul’s Secret World That Reveals Itself at Night
The Guardian • Erdoğan vows Kur­dish rebels ‘will be buried in trench­es they have dug’
The guardian • Crack­down in Turkey’s Kur­dish south-east turns jour­nal­ists into ‘ter­ror­ists’
The New York Times • Pho­tos of the Day: Turkey and Elsewhere
The New York Times • 15,000 More Pub­lic Work­ers Are Fired in Turkey Crackdown
Newsweek • Turkey’s hid­den war is spilling onto city streets
140Journos • Night Blind
140Journos • Tüm boyut­larıy­la kentsel dönüşüm (Réha­bil­i­ta­tion urbaine)
and many others…

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges

En français : “Turquie • Çağ­daş Erdoğan 172e jour­nal­iste en prison…” Cliquez pour lire

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