Economy reporters under pressure in Turkey - RSF

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday has warned about ongoing pressure on business reporters in Turkey, saying that the situation is "alarming."

"It seems as though almost all subjects are now off limits for the media in Turkey. Covering the economy is certainly getting more dangerous," a statement released by RSF said. 

Cengiz Erdinç, a reporter for the daily Yurt, is going on trial on Friday for violation of the banking law due to his article titled, "The Financial Black Holes," upon a complaint by the state-owned bank Ziraat. 

Two other Bloomberg correspondents, Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalınkılıç, will go on trial in September in connection with their coverage of last year’s currency crisis, the statement highlighted. 

The two are accused of destabilising the Turkish economy by reporting on the currency crisis in Turkey in 2018 when the economy had been hit hard by U.S. sanctions imposed in retaliation for Turkey’s imprisonment of an American pastor on terrorism charges.

The RSF said there are other 36 people, including the journalists Mustafa Sönmez, Merdan Yanardağ and Sedef Kabaş, facing prison terms for tweeting about the Bloomberg report. 

"Covering financial issues has always been difficult under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but these prosecutions represent a new escalation," the RSF said. 

The RSF Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu said Turkey should restore rule of law and value transparency and reliable information if it wants to encourage investors. 

Turkey is ranked 157th out of 180 countries ranked by RSF on its 2019 World Press Freedom Index, due to having the highest number of journalists behind bars and escalating government pressure on opposition media.