Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will provide press cards to Turkey’s journalists, according to a new presidential decree published in the Official Gazette early Tuesday, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The authority to issue press cards was previously belonged to the Prime Ministry’s Directorate General of Press and Information. With the decree No. 703 which was issued on Tuesday, this authority was transfered to President Erdogan.
Erdogan began his second term as president after taking the oath of office on Monday.
Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2017 World Press Freedom Index. The situation of its media in Turkey has become critical under the state of emergency proclaimed after a July 2016 coup attempt.
According to Turkey Purge website, based on information compiled from PEN International, Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) and Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD), 274 journalists were jailed in Turkey following the failed coup last year. While some 160 of them are still kept under arrest, remaining released pending trial or cleared of charges.