The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Wednesday denied Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s assertion about jailed journalists being terrorists and said 81 journalists were imprisoned due to journalistic activities.
In response to a question about jailed journalists in Turkey during an interview with the Bloomberg television channel, Erdoğan said: “Most of them are not journalists, they are terrorists. They are involved in bombing, theft. … Many of them are spies.”
The CPJ denied Erdoğan’s remarks in a tweet and said: “CPJ examined 148 cases at the end of 2016 w/ court docs, lawyers, etc. We found direct link to journalism in 81 cases.”
The International Press Institute (IPI) earlier said that a total of 171 journalists are currently imprisoned in Turkey due to their journalistic activities.
Turkey has drifted into an oppressive regime particularly since a botched coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and has been undertaking a massive purge that targets dissidents, journalists, academics, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, teachers and doctors.