Claim: Press freedom deteriorating in Turkey

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Claim: Press freedom deteriorating in Turkey

2016-01-19 03:20 GMT
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Iranian state-run Press TV claims press freedom deteriorating in Turkey

On 11 January 2016, the website of Iranian state-run television network English language broadcaster Press TV published a news article about press freedom in Turkey.1 It claimed that press freedom is deteriorating in Turkey.

The article was written in reference to  Turkey’s main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party) Vice Chairman Sezgin Tanrikulu’s statements in which he claimed that democracy in Turkey is “bankrupt,” pointing out that “774 Turkish journalists were sacked and 156 were detained” in 2015.

The Press TV article stated that:

“There has been growing concern about deteriorating press freedom in Turkey and, in particular, over the number of journalists facing legal proceedings on accusations of insulting or criticizing top officials.”

However, according to a report published on 1 December 2015 by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an international organization promoting press freedom and defending the rights of journalists, only 14 journalists are under arrest in Turkey.2 Notably, the same report states that 19 journalists are under arrest in Iran.

According to another report by the CPJ, published on June 2015, Turkey is the second country after the US preferred by the journalists who are forced into exile from their own country.3

On the other hand, Iran is the third country from which journalists flee, while Turkey is not among the top-10 countries in this category. Another list put forward by the CPJ, on April 2015, is top-10 most censored countries. While Turkey is not included in this list, Iran is ranked as in seventh place.4