Haci Yusuf Topaloglu

Turkey Continues Arrests, Remains World’s Worst Jailer of Journalists


ISTANBUL (IOHR) — Turkey, which arrested four journalists from Kurdish left-wing agencies in December, remains the world’s worst jailer of journalists, the International Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) said on January 7.

Journalist Haci Yusuf Topaloglu, a reporter for the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Sadiye Eser and Sadık Topaloğlu, journalists from Mezopotamya Agency (MA), Kurdish-Left journalist Aziz Oruç were added last month to the country’s long list of journalists behind bars, the NGO said.

All of the journalists are accused of links to a terrorist organization, namely the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for over 30 years.

Aziz Oruç

Turkish media has been particularly hard hit in a government crackdown following the July 2016 coup attempt. Dozens of journalists have been imprisoned or harassed with legal challenges and critical media outlets have been forced into self-censorship or shut down.

“These arrests are part of the Turkish regime’s determination to keep the society and the global audience uninformed, or rather misinformed about the human rights situation in the country,’’ the observatory quoted exiled Turkish journalist Kerim Balcı as saying.

On January 38, Turkey will be called to account in Geneva at a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic review of Turkey, it said.

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The country ranks 157th out of 180 in the RSF World Press Freedom Index.

Turkey’s continued attacks on Press Freedom, the NGO said, give a clear indication of the major concerns in its human rights record.

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