Turkish investigative journalists visit Oslo and London

In January 1993 hundreds of thousands in Turkey mourned the assassination of investigative journalist Ugur Mumcu. The placard reads “Susmayacagiz,” which means “We won’t remain silent.” Photo courtesy of Ugur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation.

The Ethical Journalism Network hosted a visit of Turkish investigative journalists to Oslo from 21-23 May and in London from 23-25 May.

During their stay the EJN arranged meetings with senior investigative journalists, academics, regulators and civil society.

The visit was led by Özge Mumcu Aybars who is a founder, board member and coordinator of Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation, named after the leading Investigative Journalist Uğur Mumcu who was assassinated in 1993.
The group has been working to promote independent investigative journalism and also rights-based journalism in Turkey for the last 24 years.
In 2011 Özge Mumcu Aybars wrote an article for Nieman Labs explaining how the organisation’s journalistic mission emerged out of the tragedy.
‘… after my father was murdered, our family founded the Ugur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation … to encourage young people who are concerned about social problems and have ideals of hard work and humanity to enter the field of journalism.’

Oslo Meetings

In Oslo the delegation met with:
  • SKUP: Director John Bones
  • Faktisk.no Silje: Skuphamn or Tore Bergsaker
  • The Foreign Committee of Norway’s Parliament
  • The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Fritt Ord
  • PEN – Noroway
  • The Ethical Journalism Network’s Norwegian Board Members and Advisers
  • Norsk Journalistlag
  • Norsk Redaktørforening
  • University of Oslo

London Meetings

In London the delegation met with:
  • Ewen MacAskill – The Guardian
  • Kirsty Brimelow QC – UK Bar Association
  • Ed Proctor – Chief Operating Officer, IMPRESS
  • Ana Penades & Hosam El Nager- Thomson Foundation
  • Karen Wightman – Deputy Editor, BBC Panorama
  • Meirion Jones, Investigations Editor at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
  • Thomas Clarke – Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • Heather Brooke – City, University of London, MA in Investigative Journalism

The Delegation

Özge Mumcu Aybars
Born in June 1981, Mumcu Aybars is one of the founders of Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation in 1994 with family members Guldal Mumcu and Ozgur Mumcu. Graduated from Bilkent University and had an MA in Political Science and Public Administration from Ankara University. She is a Ph.D. candidate from METU Political Science and Public Administration. She worked as a political advisor at Democratic Left Party in 2006 and 2007. From 2007, she is working as both the board member and coordinator of Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation. She translated a book named Robin Ramsey’s book on “Conspiracy Theories” in 2007 to Ulusdağı Publishing House. She wrote several articles to Cumhuriyet, Birgün, and www.t24.com.trwww.yeniarayis.com since 2010. She worked as an advisor at TEPAV worked in the fields of EU relations, European Council relations, constitutional amendments, peace process and human rights issues from 2012 to 2014. From 2014, she is working at Başkent University Faculty of Communication as a lecturer. She is also now the project coordinator of Investigative Journalism Foundation Project on  European Commission’s EuropeAid/154567/DD/ACT/TR European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Country Based Support Scheme (CBSS) Turkey Programme, EIDHR/2017/154567/79 “Dissemination of rights-based journalism through civil society” Project. She is married and has a son and speaks English and Italian.
Ayse İdil Aybars
Ayse Idil Aybars is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and the Chair of the Social Policy Master’s Programme at the Middle East Technical University (METU). She completed her BSc and MSc degrees at the Department of Sociology of METU in 1999 and 2001, and another MSc degree in European Studies: EU Policy-Making at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in 2002 as a Jean Monnet scholar. She got her Ph.D. degree in Social Sciences from the University of Ulster in 2007. She completed two post-doctoral studies, one at the Center for European Studies of METU between 2006 and 2009, and the other as part of the Max Weber Fellowship Programme of the European University Institute in Florence, Italy between 2009 and 2010. She has been publishing and teaching on EU-Turkey relations, social policy in the EU and Turkey, gender equality and sociology of media. She has also worked extensively on EU-funded projects, including Civil Society Dialogue Programme, EU 6th and 7th Framework Programmes, and university grant schemes, as researcher, coordinator, consultant and assessor. She is currently the EU consultant of Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation’s Project; “Dissemination of rights-based journalism through civil society.” She speaks English, French and Italian.
Can Ertuna
Born in 1978, Can Ertuna studied Sociology (B.S.) and Urban Policy Planning (M.S.) in the Middle East Technical University. He recently got his PhD degree from Media and Communication Studies programme of Galatasaray University and has been working as a visiting lecturer at Bahcesehir University, New Media department. He has been working in the Turkish media for nearly 20 years fulfilling different roles as writer, editor and correspondent. As a reporter, he covered news mostly in conflict and war zones for Turkish news channel NTV. He recently reported from countries such as; Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Egypt, Israel. He has a book in Turkish called “Arab Uprisings Diary” (2014). He is the media consultant for Uğur Mumcu Investigative Journalism Foundation’s Project; “Dissemination of rights-based journalism through civil society”.

For background about the EJN’s work in Turkey, read: