CPJ calls on Turkey to address press freedom challenges

New York, April 30, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists is disturbed by reports in Turkey’s pro-government media that made false claims about CPJ. The reports said CPJ made a statement on April 18 saying Turkey holds only 15 journalists behind bars. CPJ did not issue a statement.  

“The government’s strategy is to attack its critics rather than address legitimate concerns. These concerns stem from the fact that Turkish authorities continue to unjustly jail journalists for carrying out their work and to systematically suppress critical reporting,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “CPJ calls on the Turkish government to respond to our April 9 letter addressed to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which details our profound concerns about Turkey’s anti-press policies, including the jailing of journalists, the censorship of social media, and adoption of restrictive legislation.”

In CPJ’s most recent prison census, the organization reported that Turkish authorities held 40 journalists behind bars, making it the world’s leading jailer of journalists for the second year in a row. With recent releases in Turkey, Turkey now holds 21 journalists in jail. About 35 journalists are in jail in both China and Iran, according to a recent CPJ estimate.