ÇGD head says over 900 press cards canceled, 151 journalists jailed in post-coup Turkey

Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) President Tevfik Kızgınkaya said on Saturday that more than 900 press cards were cancelled and 151 are now in jail as part of a media crackdown following a failed coup in July 2016.

Speaking with dokuz8 website on Saturday, Kızgınkaya said “the media crackdown in Turkey is just reminiscent to stock market that we have to calculate [number] of jailed journalists.”

Underlining that there is a continuous crackdown on media freedom in Turkey by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, Kızgınkaya added “we wake up to new arrest of journalists every morning.”

Kızgınkaya said more than 900 press cards of journalists in Turkey were cancelled and presently there are 151 journalists in prisons.

Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2017 World Press Freedom Index. The situation of its media in Turkey has become critical under the state of emergency proclaimed after a July 2016 coup attempt.

According to Turkey Purge website, based on information compiled from PEN International, Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) and Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD), 274 journalists were jailed in Turkey following the failed coup last year. While some 160 of them are still kept under arrest, remaining released pending trial or cleared of charges.

However, the most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 275 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 5, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 251 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 109 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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