The situation in Turkey is deteriorating dangerously, the report shows. According to the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), more than 150 journalists were in jail in February 2019, while dozens of others are facing trials. The picture is becoming grimmer with each passing year.
Trials targeting freedom the press and expression are ending without fanfare, with journalists and academics for peace especially receiving jail time.
As a consequence, self-censorship is a growing problem, encouraged by the 2.5-year state of emergency that allows investigations against those exercising freedom of expression.
In November 2018 an appeal court upheld a sentence from last year against DİSK Basın İş Board of Directors member Ayşe Düzkan for participating in a solidarity campaign with the now-closed Özgür Gündem newspaper. Ayşe was sentenced to 18 months in prison, where she entered at the beginning of 2019.
Since then, many other journalists have been jailed, including Cumhuriyet’s Musa Kart, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik and Mustafa Kemal Güngör.
DİSK Basın-İş Chairman Faruk Eren said in a statement: “In spite of this dark picture, however, we have hope, because they are afraid of journalists and the truth; they are afraid of scientists, intellectuals, opposition politicians, opposition-minded students, women and workers. In the end, their fear is our hope.”