Press freedom under scrutiny in Turkey

Turkey ranks 138th in a global press freedom index, with hundreds of journalists in jail and many websites banned.

    As Turks prepare to vote in parliamentary elections on Sunday, concerns are being raised about the country’s track record on press freedom.

    Turkey’s ranking in a press freedom index put out by Reporters Without Borders has dropped from 101 in 2007 to 138 this year.

    The Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe says that 57 journalists are currently in jail in Turkey – a higher number than China. There are up to 700 lawsuits against journalists in the country.

    More than 13,000 websites are also banned under the so called internet censorship law while the government is planning to introduce a new filtering system allegedly against obscene or immoral internet content.

    Government critics accuse the government of cracking down on opposition voices, but the government says it is just applying the law.

    Al Jazeera's Mohamed Vall reports from Istanbul.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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