The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has listed Turkey as the second worst jailer of journalists in its annual report for the year 2019.
The CPJ’s report, released on Wednesday, said this year’s census marks the first time in four years that Turkey has not been the world’s worst jailer but that the reduced number of prisoners does not signal an improved situation for the Turkish media.
“Rather, the fall to 47 journalists in jail from 68 last year reflects the successful efforts by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stamp out independent reporting and criticism by closing down more than 100 news outlets and lodging terror-related charges against many of their staff,” the report says.
Although the CPJ puts the number of jailed journalists in Turkey at 47, it is estimated that there are close to 200 journalists behind bars in Turkey. Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government stepped up a crackdown on journalists and media outlets critical of it in the aftermath of a failed coup in July 2016.