Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu, two reporters for the Mezopotamya news agency, have been arrested on terrorism charges, the agency reported.

The journalists were detained on Nov. 29 shortly after they left their office in the Beyoğlu district of İstanbul. They were referred to the İstanbul Courthouse to appear before a judge, where they were arrested on charges of membership in a terrorist organization on Tuesday.

Overseas trips made by the journalists and other cases previously filed against them were shown as the reasons for their imprisonment, while two denied the terrorism accusations and said they had merely performed their job as journalists.

Turkey, where more than 150 journalists and media workers are currently jailed, was ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released in April by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

The Turkish government increased its crackdown on critical journalists and media organizations in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016 following which scores of journalists were imprisoned and dozens of media outlets were closed down by the government on the pretext of an anti-coup fight. (Turkishminute).