News from the Committee to Protect Journalists, October 2012
Tackling Turkey's press freedom crisis
Turkey's use of broad anti-state charges to jail at least 61 journalists in reprisal for their work has resulted in the country being ranked the worst jailer of journalists, surpassing global press freedom violators such as China and Iran, CPJ found in a special report released this month in English and Turkish.
CPJ's findings were featured in most leading national dailies in Turkey and on the national cable networks, including the widely viewed CNN Turk. International media coverage was also widespread, with BBC and CNN International broadcasting live interviews about the report, and an especially powerful editorial published by Bloomberg View.
A delegation to Istanbul led by CPJ board Chairman Sandy Rowe met with human rights advocates, press freedom groups, and Turkish journalists who have been victims of the crackdown. A second CPJ delegation that will arrive in Turkey in early November has requested high-level government meetings. The report is also a seed for longer-term advocacy, including with the European Union and United States government.
To reduce the number of journalists in prison in Turkey, CPJ is pushing for comprehensive reform. A number of imprisoned journalists, including Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, have already been released as a result of international pressure.