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Freedom of expression in Turkey is under sustained and increasing attack. Since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, academics, journalists and writers who criticize the government risk criminal investigation and prosecution, intimidation, harassment and censorship. The severity of the Turkish government’s repression of the media is such that it has been described by some as the “death of journalism”.
Amnesty International believes that the routine and lengthy pre-trial detention of journalists and other media workers in Turkey is tantamount to punishment without conviction. It calls for their release and for charges against them to be dropped unless there is clear evidence that an internationally recognizable crime has been committed.
This clampdown on the media is taking place in the context of a purge of government critics from the public sector, credible allegations of torture and other ill-treatment in police detention, and a significant rise in political tensions.
The cumulative effect of these actions has been to shrink the space for dissent dramatically and to intensify self-censorship in the increasingly compliant mainstream media.