Over 100 journalists jailed by Turkey in post-coup crackdown
Turkey is currently holding 107 journalists in prison, while another 2500 journalists are unemployed, according to a new report on press censorship after the country's failed coup.
The Independent Communication Network (BIA) reports that of those 107 journalists, 71 are accused of supporting Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara has accused of orchestrating the July 15 coup attemp, and 29 are connected to the Kurdish media.
The report criticises the Turkish government for its strong-hand tactics against journalists, and labels Turkey as the “world’s biggest journalist-prison”.
“The State of Emergency declared following the coup attempt on July 15, and the Statutory Decrees issued within the State of Emergency, have [led to] various unlawful and excessive practices like closures, detentions and arrests,” BIA said in the report.
A total of 155 media outlets have been closed down in the period since July 15, while 775 press cards and 49 passports have been cancelled.
The report claims that 22 journalists have been charged with “defaming the President” or “defaming Recep Tayyip Erdogan” in the last three months, while two reporters were found guilty and fined 3,130 euros each.
The Turkish state immediately clamped down on journalists, academics and economists in the months following the coup in a purge which saw more than 13,000 people arrested.
One of the biggest cases was the closure of the Zaman newspaper, which was famously critical of President Erdogan and the arrest of 47 of its journalists.