New York, July 28, 2016–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Turkish authorities today to stop its sweeping purge of the media, and to allow all journalists to work freely at this critical time for the country. A decree published yesterday in Turkey’s Official Gazette ordered the closure of more than 100 broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and distribution companies.
“The scale of this rout of the media is staggering,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Instead of channeling the overwhelming support it has received from across the political spectrum to unite the nation, the government is exploiting a failed coup to silence the critical press when Turkey most needs pluralistic media.”
The government alleges the shuttered media organizations were linked to the Hizmet movement, which it accuses of orchestrating a July 15 failed military coup that left more than 200 people dead. Yesterday authorities announced they had issued 46 more arrest warrants for journalists and media workers, according to press reports, bringing to 88 the number of arrest warrants for journalists and media workers issued in the last week.