Seven local daily newspapers in Turkey’s third biggest city of İzmir have decided to halt publications on Sundays due to an ongoing currency crisis, the Birgün daily reported.
“We will not publish our newspaper on Sundays because of the economic problems, the loss in value of the Turkish lira and consequently the difficulty in importing paper,” Murat Atilla, editor-in-chief of one of the dailies, said.
The ultranationalist Aydınlık daily recently took a three-day break from publishing, citing the same problems.
Turkey has been facing a currency crisis, with the lira losing more than 50 percent of its value since the beginning of the year.
As the paper that publishers use is imported, the publishing industry, including publishing houses, newspapers and bookstores, have all been significantly affected.
The Cumhuriyet and Sözcü newspapers, both critical of the government, increased their edition prices by 25 percent in order to weather the crisis, while along with several other publishing houses, Ayrıntı recently announced that it hiked book prices by up to 40 percent.
Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 237 journalists and media workers were in jail as of September 2, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 169 were under arrest pending trial while only 68 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 145 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
(SCF with turkishminute.com)