RIGHTS > Turkey now 154th in world press freedom index

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

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Turkey has experienced another among fall down the ranks of Reporters Without Borders’ (RWB) World Press Freedom index, dropping to 154th on the list. 

RWB stated that Turkey, a country of “political importance” amid the Syrian conflict, was “currently the world’s biggest prison for journalists.” The country suffered a six-slot fall, plummeting from 148th to 154th.

The report also targeted Turkey for failing to live up to its regional model aspirations “despite a varied and lively media” presence in the country. The Turkish state was criticized for pursuing “a paranoia about security, which has a tendency to see every criticism as a plot hatched by a variety of illegal organizations.”

The ongoing paranoia has intensified during the past year, which was “marked by a rising tension over the Kurdish question,” the organization said.

Syria, meanwhile, has become “the deadliest country for journalists,” taking one of the last spots, as journalists suffered both from the civil war and from government attempts to crack down on reporters.

The report also looked into some of the regional dynamics and noted especially Greece’ sharp drop down the list to number 84 as part of the “unraveling European model” that is otherwise filled with list-topping countries. Finland topped the list for the second year in a row. 

Greek journalists are “exposed to public condemnation and violence from both extremist groups and the police,” the report said. Countries like India, China and Russia were also named among those falling short of their regional ambitions.

Regional scores from zero to 100 ended up as 17.5 for Europe, 30.0 for the Americas, 34.3 for Africa, 42.2 for the Asia-Pacific and 45.3 for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The Middle East and North Africa region came last at 48.5.

The index focuses not on political developments but on “attitudes and intentions of governments toward media freedom,” with criteria ranging from “legislation to violence against journalists,” according to the organization.

Press needs to have moral values: Prime minister

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency

Members of the press should not ignore the moral values that come with their occupation, the interest of their home country, public order and societal dynamics, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today in a message released to celebrate Journalists’ Day on July 24.

“Our institutions of the press should not ignore the interest of the country, public order, societal dynamism and the moral values that their occupation brings while pursuing a free, objective and responsible way of doing their jobs,” the statement said.

The prime minister highlighted the press as “an institutional force” in advanced democracies, capable of “influencing and guiding a large part of society.”

Erdoğan also added that the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) government had realized “important reforms on the issue of information and freedom of expression in parallel of Turkey’s advancement in issues of human rights and democracy.”

July 24 marks the 105th anniversary of the lifting of censorship of the Turkish press, after the 1908 Young Turk revolution against Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II.


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Notice on comments

Tekion Particle

12/4/2013 2:05:37 AM

A European, we all know you are not but get a job dude. We know Cyprus is going through tough times but surely there must be something you can do. Stop draining mom's retirement fund dude.

Brit in Turkey

7/26/2013 8:07:13 AM

Karl Jager: You are a propagandist for which organisation?

eva simonsson

7/26/2013 1:33:35 AM

Interesting that Mr PM is talking about "influencing and guiding" instead of "informing". Keeping the public informed - wouldn't that be a good thing for the press to be doing?

Bear Klein

7/25/2013 9:43:41 PM

Surprised the number is so high!


7/25/2013 4:04:49 PM

Exactly Baris, there are those "educated" Europeans who still can not tell the difference between EU and Europe. It is comical at this point.


7/25/2013 3:01:15 PM

"Turkey isn't and never will be part of Europe", A European says. Turkey is, and has always been a part of Europe. Now, the EU, well that's another story.

american american

7/25/2013 2:42:23 PM

we're number almost last! we're number almost last!

Ali Kanat

7/25/2013 12:59:06 PM

It's not paranoia. Since if you are a threat to the state your constitutional rights are annulled, it's just a mechanism for silencing their opponents. It's cynical autocracy rather than paranoia. Why do you think everybody who went to Gazi was to be branded "terrorist"? Same thing. If you are a "threat to the state" they can do whatever they want.

Black Berry

7/25/2013 10:59:57 AM

Shame, shame, shame

Karl Jager

7/25/2013 10:05:04 AM

Sorry Nardiri. The UK is the place that the Government is not only suspicious of everyone, but does not trust anyone. Just look at the number of CCTV cameras they have and they are now having their freedoms even more erroded by having the internet monitored and sites banned. Next sites will be banned if they dont fit in with the government party line. The British Government is running scred of their people.
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