July 27, 2016

In the wake of a failed coup attempt earlier this month, more than 80 news outlets in Turkey have been shut down by the government, CNNTurk reported Wednesday. That includes 16 television stations, 23 radio organizations, 15 magazines, 45 newspapers and 29 publishing and distribution channels.

The shutdown comes as journalists in Turkey have been targeted for arrests; warrants were issued for 42 on Monday and 47 on Wednesday.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has chronicled the situation facing journalists in Turkey, including a timeline that’s current as of May 2016.

Before news of the shutdown broke Wednesday, the International Press Institute noted that Turkey may beat its own record for imprisoned journalists (set in 2012).

“More than 30 journalists were already behind bars in Turkey before July 15,” IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis said. “If the 89 others against whom arrest warrants have been issued are also thrown in prison, Turkey will be holding at least 120 journalists, more than any held at one time anywhere else in the world in recent memory, if ever.”

He continued: “The staggering number of journalists targeted in the ongoing purge, coupled with the near-complete lack of evidence implicating them in any criminal or terrorist activities and the fact that many of them have been critics of government policies, suggests that the purge now has more to do with settling scores and silencing the president’s opponents than with identifying and punishing those actually responsible for the coup attempt.”

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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