Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy and former journalist Barış Yarkadaş on Monday said that in October, 12 journalists in Turkey have been detained, four arrested and 11 given prison sentences.

“Democracy is in agony; journalists can’t breathe,” he said.

Underlining the refusal of the Ministry of Justice to answer his parliamentary question, the CHP deputy said: “We inquired from the Ministry [of Justice] the number and names of prisoners who acknowledged their profession as ‘journalist/writer/publisher’ [in Turkey]. [But] the ministry refused to provide the names and numbers [of these journalists] on the grounds that that would violate their right to privacy. We can’t understand what they are hiding [from the public].”

Pointing to the heavy pressure that journalists are facing today all over the world, Yarkadaş went on to say: “One of the rings in this chain [of persecution of journalists] is the AKP [Justice and Development Party] rule. Increasingly exerting pressure on journalists, the AKP is putting them into a death agony.”

According to a report by the T24 news website on Monday, with ongoing legal cases and new arrests, the number of imprisoned journalists has now reached at least 155.

(Turkish Minute)