79 journalists detained, 24 jailed in Turkey in 2020

Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) released its 2020 Report on Violations Against Journalists at a press conference held at the association building in Amed (Diyarbakır). According to the report, 79 journalists were detained, 24 journalists were jailed, 19 journalists were attacked, and 1960 news articles were blocked during 2020.

DFG co-chair Dicle Müftüoğlu, who defined the year 2020 as “a balls up”, said, “Detention, arrest, investigation, trial, prison sentence, access block, screen blackout. Press workers who try to make the voices of those otherized heard and act with the principle of genuine and courageous journalism defying the pro-gov’t mainstream media have been targeted.”


Müftüoğlu stated that Kurdish journalist deserve a separate title and continued: “In Turkey, the Kurdish press has serious difficulties in the field of media as in all areas and crackdown on Kurdish journalists has escalated. Kurdish journalists face many obstacles in the fields they work, as in the example of the imprisonment of our 5 journalist friends in Van.”

Müftüoğlu noted that Turkey’s press freedom ranks record low with the most imprisoned journalists on a global scale. Referring to the fact that journalists struggled not only against arrests, but also against detentions, investigations and lawsuits in 2020, Müftüoğlu said, “We cannot say that journalists who are not imprisoned can fully enjoy their freedom. Press workers were faced with threats of imprisonment anytime. Journalists spent their time waiting in the corridors of the court houses or giving statements about the news they made.’’

Müftüoğlu added, “We wish all segments of society, especially press workers, a free, peaceful and fair year, and we state that we will continue our work with the motto of” free press, free society”.


DFG Co-chair Serdar Altan listed the violations of rights against journalists in 2020 as follows:

* Journalists detained: 79

 * Journalists jailed: 24

* Journalists attacked: 19

* Maltreatment, threat and imposition of spying: 17

* Journalists blocked from tracking news: 12 incidents

* Journalists under investigation: 54

* Journalists prosecuted: 53

* Journalists punished: 43 sentenced to 150 years and 15 days in prison and 56,310 TL fine

* Journalists whose trial continues: 231 files, 539 journalists

* Newspapers imposed an advertisement ban: 8

* RTÜK fines: 43

* Internet access ban: 1960 news articles, 145 websites

* Journalists dismissed: 6

* The number of arrested journalists (as of January 04, 2021): 91