Journalists rally against press clampdown in Turkey

Journalists rally against press clampdown in Turkey
Journalists and opposition lawmakers gather in Istanbul to protest the continued detention of over a hundred members of the country's press.
2 min read
11 March, 2017
Over 100 journalists are currently in detention in Turkey [AFP]
Journalists and opposition politicians Istanbul protested on Saturday against the Turkish government's crackdown on reporters that has intensified following the failed coup of July 2016.

Around 50 demonstrators gathered to tell Turkey's government that "Journalism is not a crime" amid a continued government-imposed state of emergency.

"Many jailed journalists are not allowed to receive letters under the state of emergency conditions," said Republican People's Party lawmaker Baris Yarkadas.

According to watchdog Reporters Without Borders, over 100 journalists are currently in detention in Turkey.

A December report by JWB said that the "number of detained professional journalists in Turkey has risen 22 percent after quadrupling in the wake of the failed coup d'etat in July".

Turkish journalists' associations say that around 170 media outlets have been closed, while over 800 press cards have been cancelled.

The crackdown has also affected foreign journalists, who have been expelled or barred from entry to Turkey.

This includes reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Die Welt, and French news website Les Jours.

Last month, German Die Welt journalist Deniz Yucel was detained on terror-related charges in a move that has further strained relations between Berlin and Ankara.

"Deniz Yucel is a professional, he is known to be a very good journalist," Fatih Polat, editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Evrensel, told AFP.

"We will give any kind of support for his and other jailed journalists' release," he said.

In the wake of the failed July 15 putsch, Turkey's government imposed a state of emergency that critics argue has been used to clamp down on critics and opponents of Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Legislation recently approved by Turkey's parliament is also set to grant President Erdogan extraordinary powers as part of moves that critics say will lead to further authoritarianism.