Critical news reporting is dead for most Turkish media – RSF representative

Critical news reporting is dead for 80 percent of the Turkish media because they are bound by economic and political interests, Paris-based press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative said.

Erol Önderoğlu, RSF’s long-time representative and himself a journalist, was quoted by German public broadcaster DW as saying that Turkey was already losing its press freedoms, as reported by RSF every year, but the decline accelerated after the July 2016 coup attempt.

“Today Turkish journalists are harassed by law enforcement and subject to arbitrary detentions under the state of emergency” he said.

The first victims of the current situation the coverage of issues that are deemed taboos in Turkey, Önderoğlu said, highlighting the lack of reporting on Kurdish conflict.

“Detention of reporters, even foreign correspondents in the southeast Turkey, their deportation and cancellation of their press cards created an area of Turkey where no journalists are allowed,” Önderoğlu said.

In Turkey, editorial independence and media plurality are almost completely gone, accreditation and online censorship are used to block access to information, and journalists are spending their days in the courtroom facing jail, Önderoğlu said.