108 journalists faced up to 1,485 years in prison in February in Turkey: Report

Some 108 journalists appeared before the judge in February in Turkey, facing up to 1,485 years in jail, according to a report published by the Turkish Journalists' Association (TGC).

Duvar English

The Turkish Journalists' Association (TGC) has shared the results of its monthly report on trials and violations of rights faced by journalists in the country. 

According to its report titled “Cost of News” ("Haberin Bedeli" in Turkish), 108 journalists were tried with a demand of up to 1,485 years in jail in 39 separate trials in February. 

Some of these trials were finalized, and five journalists were sentenced to a total of 15 years, 8 months and 22 days last month. 

The report was published as part of the Media for Democracy/Democracy for Media Project, with the funding of the European Union (EU) in an attempt to strengthen pluralist media and free press as a safeguard for democracy.

In the same period, authorities charged three new journalists and arrested three others upon the finalization of their sentences.

Threats against journalists also increased, and a journalist died as a result of an attack in February. Separately, eight journalists faced threats, attacks and beatings.

Of the journalists on trial, 53 were charged with "being a member of a terrorist organization," 19 with "making propaganda for a terrorist organization," three with "insulting the President" and six with "opposing the Law on Demonstrations."

Turkey was ranked 153rd among 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).