The Turkish president is listed in RSF’s "2021 Press Freedom Predators," who "crack down massively on press freedom," alongside the likes of Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrovand Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
RSF accused Erdogan of persecuting critics "with the help of a law under which they can be prosecuted for “insulting the president” and broad terrorism legislation that allows every kind of abuse.’’
Erdogan has been repeatedly criticized for placing a chokehold on press freedom since coming to power 18 years ago. His crackdown on media intensified in the aftermath of the 2016 coup attempt, after which he doubled down on opposition outlets and critics.
Turkey’s "deteriorated climate encourages violence against journalists,’’ RSF said, highlighting that over 100 journalists have been targeted in physical attacks in the past five years.
Journalists under Erdogan's rule remain at "risk of imprisonment and the fear of having to work under judicial control or being stripped of one’s passport are still ubiquitous,’’ it said.
For six consecutive years since 2014, Turkey has remained “Not Free” in Freedom House rankings. The country ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index of RSF.
Reporter's code: 50101