Welcome to paradise: 500 journalists fired, 70 others attacked in Turkey

Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, senior staff members of independent daily Cumhuriyet, were arrested on charges of espionage and aiding an alleged terrorist group after publishing reports that alleged Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had transferred weapons to Syria under cover of humanitarian aid.

ISTANBUL (DHA) – Around 500 journalists were fired and 70 others were subjected to physical violence in 2015, the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) has said.

“The greatest threats against journalists have been lawsuits filed against them and facing imprisonment,” the TGC said in a report which depicted the state of journalism in 2015.

“The unemployment rate in journalism rose by two times. Around 500 journalists lost their jobs in 2015, while 70 others were attacked,” the TGC said.

The TGC said bans on coverage of specific stories, access bans to several news websites and verbal and physical attacks on media outlets were trending topics during 2015.

“Journalists were targeted in rallies as well as on social media,” it added.

The TGC said hours-long arrests and physical violence were faced by journalists.

“There are currently 30 journalists who have been imprisoned,” it said, adding censorship had always been in place during the year.

“More than 200 news websites were denied access,” it added.