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161 Turkish media workers to welcome 2020 in jail

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A total of 161 media workers will greet the new year in jail in Turkey, according to a report drafted by Jailed Journos, an online platform.

The report includes a list that provides the names, companies and positions of each journalist as well as the date of their arrest and the prison in which they are currently being held.

According to the report 89 of the media workers who will welcome 2020 in jail are reporters, editors or columnists, and nine are women.

The list of jailed journalists includes two local newspaper bosses, Kütahya-based Akis and Karşı online newspapers’ owner Alaaddin Akkaşoğlu, and the Ankara-based Belde newspaper’s owner Alaaddin Kaya, who was the former licensee of the Zaman daily, which was closed down by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016.

There are also other jailed media workers on the list who work in the background such as technical staff. The number of journalists who used to work for the state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) and Anadolu news agency and are currently in jail is not known.

Dozens of critical journalists were arrested while hundreds of media outlets were closed down in the aftermath of the failed coup, following which the Turkish government launched a massive crackdown on non-loyalist citizens under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

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