Turkey’s staunchly pro-government Habertürk newspaper will close down its print operation on July 6 and go completely digital, according to a report by online news outlet SuperHaber.tv on Sunday.
According to the report the Habertürk daily has been facing financial problems for some time and has already closed its offices and printing facilities in some cities. Habertürk is owned by the Ciner Group, which is close to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The group also owns Show TV and news channel Habertürk TV and is the main shareholder in Bloomberg HT.
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 243 journalists and media workers were in jail as of June 27, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 184 were under arrest pending trial while only 59 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 143 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.
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