DFG: Four journalists sentenced to prison in January

The Dicle-Firat Association of Journalists, DFG has published a report on press freedom in Turkey: “In the opinion of the government, no one can be a journalist who does not engage in government propaganda. There can only be one-sided reporting.”

The Dicle-Firat Journalists’ Association (Dicle Fırat Gazeteciler Derneği, DFG), founded at the beginning of the year, has published its first monthly balance sheet on the situation of press freedom in Turkey. “The repression against journalists has continued in the first month of 2020. Media workers are being obstructed in their work, accused and condemned,” the report says.

According to the report, the judicial reform package adopted in 2019 has not brought about any changes for media freedom in Turkey: “Media institutions are attacked and obstructed, journalists are dismissed. The aim of this policy is to silence all opposition voices”. For this reason, the press cards of almost a thousand journalists have been cancelled, the association announced. The cards were only reactivated after a mass protest. However, the communication department of the presidential office has announced that the examination of the press card issue is still ongoing.

“In the opinion of the government, no one can be a journalist who does not run government propaganda. There are attempts to form a media with one-sided coverage. Therefore one cannot speak of freedom of the press in Turkey. The situation of the press freedom continues to deteriorate with each day,” said the DFG.

According to the report, two journalists were sued in January, twelve journalists continued to stand on trial and four journalists were sentenced to a total of over 21 years in prison. Seven journalists have been dismissed.