The Mario Blog
Turkey: the jailing of an art director

Those of you who know Fevzi Yazici, former art director of Turkey’s daily, Zaman, know about his passion for our craft, one that he translated into action, with his professional involvement in the design community and a yearly program attracting global speakers, and, especially, young design students to an inspiring and progressive conference in Istanbul. Today, Fevzi is in jail, along with other journalists, accused of being linked to a coup. Please read his plea from jail.

It hurst to read Fevzi Yazici’s words from jail.  Here is an innocent man, a husband and father, and a devoted professional whose devotion to our craft saw him involved in all types of programs to advance design and to inspire young, talented kids to pursue it.  I have been honored to be Fevzi’s friend, and to have been a part of his yearly program, Newspaper Design Days,  at Zaman, the newspaper for which he served as design director.  Those programs attracted young designers and speakers from around the globe.

Today, Fevzi is in jail. Fevzi Yazici, was imprisoned last year as part of a government crackdown on the media following a July 2016 coup attempt. He is one of 30 Zaman journalists facing life sentences for alleged links to the coup.

Recently, I heard also from Fevzi’s wife about his plight.  His next court appearance is Nov. 13.

Recently, Fevzi sent this note to the Society of News Design (SND), an organization of which he is a member. I am saddened by what I read here. I am disturbed that an innocent journalist, and many like him, remain in this horrific conditions in a Turkish jail accused of crimes they have not committed.

IT could be any of us. I urge you to read Fevzi’s words and perhaps we, as a group, can at least send him some hope and, of course, our solidarity.

Letter from a Turkish jail

Dear friends…

I’m calling you from a shrunken small world. I realize and miss everything little thing I took for granted… I am here in prison because of a crime I am accused of that I didn’t do or take part in. I am really having a difficult time to the find words to tell you the situation I am in. Thick walls were built between me and life! Almost I cannot breathe… I missed my family, my two sons, I missed my friends, I missed drawing and designing, I mean I missed my life that was taken away from me unexpectedly one morning suddenly.

But through all that struggle I am sending this message with feelings of peace that I am innocent! And I am living a life by the longing to meet you again, sooner rather than later.

My country is passing through hard days and I believe the solution will come from above. It gives me great comfort to know that even these horrific days will pass and in the near future especially for my two sons, they will be honored by their dad and even my country, too.

SND has an important part in my life. For years I was honored to have work there representing my country. I am hopeful that when I get my freedom, I will work more determinedly for design, for the country, for the world to make it better through this experience.

Thank you for all your support and prayers… hope to see you soon.

– Fevzi


Fevzi has many friends

Fevzi is the type of guy who attracts friends.  He is cordial, totally interested in the craft of design and willing to share his knowledge and expertise with other colleagues.  His Istanbul seminars attracted designers from around the globe, both as speakers and participants.  One person who spoke at Fevzi’s programs repeatedly is Jeff Goertzen, the master visual journalist now with the Orange County Register.  Here is what Jeff had to say about Fevzi’s incarceration:


The news about Fevzi’s incarceration has been very hard for me to process, having worked with him on a personal level on several occasions, both here in the U.S. and in Istanbul. Here is a guy who has a real passion and heart for journalism more than anyone I know. Each year he donated hundreds of hours of his time to promote the values of journalism and design to college students in Turkey. And he never charged them a dime.  Our small group from church is in contact with Fevzi’s wife and is praying for his freedom.

Here we see Jeff and Fevzi during one of the Newspaper Design Days seminars in Istanbul:




The lead story



The first indictments of the Robert Mueller investigation into  possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs took place Monday, as charges were announced against  three former Trump campaign officials — including onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort — marking the first criminal allegations to come from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

I will be looking at the front pages of US newspapers in the next day or so and will incorporate them into the blog. This is Tuesday’s front page of The Washington Post.

Read all about it:



Mario’s Speaking Engagements


Nov. 16-19, WAN IFRA Latin America, Buenos Aires, Argentina

April 18-19, 2018-Newscamp ,Augsburg,  Germany.


June 3-6, 2018The Seminar, San Antonio, Texas.




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I will be happy to answer your questions and provide more information. Our workshops are offered in both English and Spanish.



TheMarioBlog post #2725




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