International press freedom organization Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) ranked Turkey near the bottom of their World Press Freedom Index again in 2021 and said that "the questioning of power and privileged circles has become almost impossible" in the country.
Ranked 153rd among 180 countries, Turkey moved up one spot from 2020, and the country's overall score increased by a marginal 0.23 percentage points for a total 50.25 percent.
The RSF said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's rule had created a new Turkey where "the arbitrariness of justices of the peace and administrative bodies have become the norm."
"The questioning of power and privileged circles has become almost impossible," RSF said.
Turkey is no longer the largest jailor of journalists, the RSF said, adding that "the risk of incarceration and the fear of being worked under judicial supervision or without a passport is omnipresent."
The media landscape is almost entirely under the thumb of the government, the RSF said, adding that supervisory agencies engage "in a clearly discriminatory practice in order to marginalize or criminalize critical voices within the profession."
Turkey's Radio and Supervision High Council (RTÜK) often issues fines and repercussions to broadcasters that essentially presents censorship, RSF said, adding that the Presidential Communications Directorate failed to grant press cards to journalists who are not openly pro-government.
"All means are good to put an end to pluralism," RSF said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also "reinforced the government's policy of liberticide towards critical media, further strengthening the instrumentalization of justice for political ends," the organization added.