Index 2024
158/ 180
Score : 31.6
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
165/ 180
Score : 33.97
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

With authoritarianism gaining ground in Türkiye, media pluralism is being called into question. All possible means are used to undermine critics.

Media landscape

With 90% of the national media now under government control, the public has turned, during the past five years, to critical or independent media outlets of different political biases to learn about the impact of the economic and political crisis on the country. They include Fox TVHalk TVTele1 and Sözcü, as well as local and international news sites such as BBC TurkishVOA Turkish and Deutsche Welle Turkish.

Political context

The 2023 elections, won by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were marked by the arrests of dozens of Kurdish journalists. However, neither the almost systematic online censorship, the arbitrary lawsuits against critical media outlets nor the exploitation of the judicial system have allowed, so far, the “hyper-president” to recover his popularity ratings, as he continues to be embroiled in a major case involving corruption and political clientelism.

Legal framework

Discriminatory practices against critical journalists and media outlets, such as stripping them of press passes, are commonplace. Judges who do the government’s bidding try to limit democratic debate by censoring online articles tackling corruption and other sensitive topics.

In this difficult environment, some journalists have nonetheless tried to remain faithful to their mission to report the news with complete independence and are demanding recognition of a “media ombudsman”. New legislation on “disinformation” constitutes yet another weapon in the government’s oppressive arsenal.

Economic context

The government and private sector companies allied with the government endanger media pluralism by channelling ads and subsidies to media outlets that give them favourable coverage. The Press Advertising Agency (BIK) uses the allocation of state advertising to put financial pressure on recalcitrant dailies, while the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) helps to financially weaken critical TV channels by issuing astronomical fines. Some daily newspapers have also had to reduce their number of pages due to the price of newsprint.

Sociocultural context

Lawsuits for “insult” are sometimes brought against journalists who implicate religious figures. References to domestic violence or various forms of abuse, especially when made by women journalists, can give rise to social media hate campaigns.


Members and leaders of the ultranationalist MHP party, an ally of President Erdogan's AKP, do not hesitate to threaten journalists who dare to draw attention to embarrassing issues. Cases of violence against journalists during the 2019 elections resulted in lenient sentences or endless trials, highlighting the culture of impunity in the country. Journalists daring to cover attacks on secularism, the impact of religious groups (Tarikat) or regional jihadist organisations are increasingly exposed to threats.

Abuses in real time in Turkey

Killed since 1st January 2024
0 journalists
0 media workers
Detained as of today
5 journalists
0 media workers