Thirteen journalists were sent to jail and 82 others were detained while journalists appeared in court 733 times in Turkey in 2019, according a report drafted by Barış Yarkadaş, a journalist and former member of the Turkish Parliament.
The report, titled “Rights Violations in the Media,” is prepared regularly by Yarkadaş at the end of every month and every year. The former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy described 2019 as a “pitch-dark” year for journalists.
In his report Yarkadaş said there were around 150 journalists in Turkey’s jails at the end of 2019 while 170 were sacked from their jobs for various reasons during the same period. He said the pressure on the country’s journalists is likely to continue in 2020.
“We can reverse this dark, even pitch-black, picture by strengthening the solidarity among us,” he said.
Dozens of critical journalists were arrested while hundreds of media outlets were closed down in the aftermath of a failed coup in Turkey in July 2016 following which the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on non-loyalist citizens under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.