Erdoğan wins CPJ’s Press Oppressors Award in two categories

Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of his ‘fake news awards,’ New York-based press freedom organisation, the Committee to Protect Journalists, (CPJ) announced its Press Oppressor Awards.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won in two categories, “Most Thin-skinned” and “Most Outrageous Use of Terror Laws Against the Press,” CPJ said in a statement.

Over the course of 2016, the Turkish judicial system handled 46,193 cases of “insulting the president” or “insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic of Turkey, the parliament, the government, or the institutions of the judiciary,” CPJ said, referring to a Cumhuriyet newspaper report from June 2017, based on figures from the Justice Ministry.

Turkey is the world's worst jailer of journalists, with at least 73 behind bars, CPJ said, adding that “every journalist jailed for their work in Turkey is under investigation for, or charged with, anti-state crimes, in most cases for belonging to, aiding, or making propaganda for an alleged terrorist organization,” it said.

China’s President Xi Jinping won the “Tightest Grip on Media” award, while “Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom” was won by Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

CPJ also awarded President Trump the honour of “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom,” for turning the U.S. administration that used to respect independent media to one that is now applauded by world’s worst press freedom offenders, such as Erdoğan and Xi Jinping, CPJ said.

In the statement, CPJ said:

CPJ is recognising world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.