Report highlights Turkey’s troubled press freedom record

Turkish authorities should end impunity for attacks against journalists, decriminalize insult and defamation, stop harassing critical news outlets, and release imprisoned journalists, according to “Press Freedom in Turkey’s Inter-Election Period,” a report published Saturday by the Vienna-based International Press Institute. Muzaffar Suleymanov, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program researcher, contributed to the report.

The deteriorating press freedom situation in Turkey spurred several international press freedom groups, including CPJ, to visit the country last month for an emergency mission. During the visit to Istanbul, the delegation spoke to several independent journalists and editors who described the pressures they have faced in recent months, from politicized lawsuits and fines to physical attacks and arrests. In Ankara, the delegation briefed foreign diplomats and members of the Turkish parliament about cases of concerns, including that of imprisoned journalist Mohammed Ismael Rasool of VICE News, and urged them to protect press freedom.

The full report is available here.