The witch-hunt waged by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government against its media critics came to a head in the wake of an abortive coup in July 2016. After the elimination of dozens of media outlets and the acquisition of Turkey’s biggest media group by a pro-government conglomerate, the authorities are tightening their grip on what little is left of pluralism – a handful of media outlets that are being harassed and marginalized. Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists. Spending more than a year in prison before trial is the new norm, and long jail sentences are common, in some cases as long as life imprisonment with no possibility of a pardon. Detained journalists and closed media outlets are denied any effective legal recourse. The rule of law is a fading memory in the “New Turkey” of paramount presidential authority. Censorship of websites and online social media has reached unprecedented levels and the authorities are now trying to bring online video services under control. Turkey’s military involvement in Libya and in Syria (along the border and in Idlib), and the migrant issue have expanded the range of topics that are subject to censorship and self-censorship and have increased use of the judicial system for political ends.
157 in 2019
52.81 in 2019