Since the attempted coup in Turkey in July, news of journalist arrests, revoked press cards and the closure of media outlets has become synonymous with the new Turkish media landscape.
I was arrested for looking too excited on December 16, 2015... it's the most tragically comical event of the past 10 years. And it shows the current condition of the law in this country.
This past week alone, more than a dozen media operations were shut down, most of them in the predominantly Kurdish southeast. In total, 160 media outlets have been shuttered since the beginning of the clampdown and 133 journalists are currently behind bars.
"There are more than 100 journalists in jail at the moment. But, there is another figure - it's not just the number of journalists in jail, it's the number of journalists who work like they are in jail. I am talking here about censorship and self-censorship, that takes the numbers up into the thousands," says Ahmet Sik, journalist at Cumhuriyet.
Cumhuriyet is one of Turkey's oldest newspapers and has just had its current editor plus a dozen members of its staff taken into custody.
Prosecutors say the paper has been "committing crimes" on behalf of Kurdistan Workers' Party, the PKK, as well as having ties to the network of Fethullah Gulen, the man the government says was behind the attempted coup. This has been a recurring cover for the multiple journalist arrests and suppression of media freedom.
"Almost everything that is happening to the media in Turkey today is happening on illegal foundations. It is well-known that these closures are unconstitutional, but under the state of emergency, everything, including the violation of the constitution and the law, is being permitted," says Ceren Sozeri, a media scholar at Galatasaray University.
Talking us through the story are: Ahmet Sik, journalist, Cumhuriyet; Beritan Canozer, journalist, JINHA news agency; Mehmet Akarca, general manager, Press Regulator; Ceren Sozeri, media scholar; and Yildiray Ogur, journalist, Turkiye newspaper.
Source: Al Jazeera