176 journalists behind bars in Turkey

The Free Journalists Initiative has pointed out that the rights violations against the journalists continued in September and said, “176 of our colleagues are in prison.” The initiative gave the message: “We will not give up any press freedom.”

The Free Journalists Initiative (Özgür Gazeteciler İnisiyatifi - ÖGİ) announced their report on rights violations against journalists for September.

“By the end of September, 176 of our journalist colleagues are in prison facing the most severe rights violations,” stresses the report and includes the following:

“In Turkey, the media has been used as the first bullet in the war. Even before the government in Turkey launched the war with the Kurdistan Federal Region, they fired the first shot by shutting down the media. Especially the channels Rudaw TV, Waar TV and K24 TV, which broadcast content focusing on the region, have been removed from the Turksat satellite by Turkey’s TV authority RTÜK in an inexplicable rush. This is not a decision made by the RTÜK. This is an order and a decree from those who have decided for war. RTÜK readily complying just shows that RTÜK is not a press institution, but the first position in the war hierarchy. As such, all that is left for us the Free Journalists Initiative is to condemn this unacceptable practice, and we do.”

The report mentions Turkey’s “leadership” in the number of arrested journalists and provides the following statistics for the month of September:

“176 journalists in prison,

3 journalists in detention,

2 journalists arrested,

4 journalists released,

53 journalists put on trial,

1 journalist sued,

1 TV channel’s appeal rejected,

4 journalists sentenced to a total of 7 years 8 months 20 days in prison,

3 media organs’ property put on auction,

3 TV channels removed from satellite services by RTÜK

2 journalists killed.”


The ÖGİ commemorated murdered journalists Gauri Lankesh and Halla Barakat, and concluded with the following:

“We will not give up any press freedom. We are journalists. Journalism is not a crime, and we continue to do journalism. We repeat our slogan at all times: Come, let’s get the journalists out of prison, so Turkey can be liberated along with us journalists.”