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Media Watchdog: Over 120 Journalists Imprisoned in Turkey
There has been growing concern about deteriorating press freedoms under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in particular over the numbers of journalists facing legal proceedings on accusations of insulting top officials. (Photo: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images)

Media Watchdog: Over 120 Journalists Imprisoned in Turkey

More than 120 journalists remain imprisoned in Turkey – the highest absolute number in the world – and a government-sponsored crackdown on media continues, according to a new report by the International Press Institute. The watchdog claims that hundreds of journalists have faced prosecution in Turkey since a failed coup in 2016, after which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sacked some 150,000 civil servants and jailed tens of thousands of people – including judges, academics and military officers – with alleged ties to exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blamed for orchestrating the attempted putsch. “Behind [the] figures lies a story of egregious violations of fundamental rights, with dozens of journalists held on the most serious terrorism-related charges for months, sometimes years, pending trial, in many cases without an official indictment,” the report said, adding that Ankara has become the “undisputed leading jailer of journalists.” This comes amid growing Western fears that NATO member Turkey is slipping into authoritarianism as Erdogan attempts to tighten his decade-plus grip on power.

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Please support our ad-free, nonprofit news agency. Our seasoned journalists reporting from the Middle East are working day and night during these challenging, yet defining times; and our student interns are honing their knowledge and skills, preparing to emerge as tomorrow’s journalists.

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Felice Friedson
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