Turkish government's media 'witch hunt' puts Turkey at bottom of press freedom index again

The ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) brutal policies toward the media and journalists have once again put Turkey in the bottom quarter of the press freedom index of the non-governmental organization Journalists Without Border (RSF). Turkey moved up three places in the ranking since 2019 but is still ranked 154th out of 180 countries.

Duvar English

The international press freedom organization, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has ranked Turkey 154th out of some 180 countries in terms of protecting journalists' rights.

Although Turkey moved up three positions since 2019, RSF still described Ankara's policies towards journalists as a "witch-hunt waged by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government against its media critics."

RSF reported that 13 journalists were imprisoned for their work in Turkey as of Dec. 1, but this number is not reflective of "those for whom the link with their work has not yet been confirmed."

"Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists. Spending more than a year in prison before trial has become the norm, and long jail sentences are common, in some cases even as long as life imprisonment with no possibility of parole," RSF noted in their Turkey spotlight.

As of Dec. 1, globally 387 journalists are currently imprisoned for their work, five of whom face the death penalty.