Erdogan for BBC: Only two journalists are imprisoned in Turkey
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During BBC’s show HARDtalk, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that only two journalists are in prison in Turkey, BBC reported.

Namely, during the show, Erdogan refused to recognise that his government is imperilling media freedoms in the country and he called journalists criminals, terrorists and vandals and accused all media outlets reporting otherwise of spreading lies.

To the question of why more than a hundred journalists are imprisoned, he said: “Please let’s not fool the world with these lies. You are speaking more than me. You have more freedom than me. You are doing an interview with me but don’t give me the opportunity to speak. No one is jailed because of journalism here. We have to acknowledge that.”

“Opposition journalists write a lot of insulting articles about me. Even recently they did it during the justice march. Those insulting articles are still out there.”,

Erdogan continued. Furthermore, he insisted that only two journalists with valid press cards are imprisoned:

“Those people who are jailed have no title as journalists. They have either worked with the terror organisation or were in possession of a firearm. Some even vandalised cash machines,” he said.

He added that they carry on them cards identifying them as journalists, but they don’t possess official press cards.

These absurd statements come at a time when, according to data from different international and local media organisations, there are between 150 and 170 journalists in Turkish prisons and Turkey is often described as the biggest prison for journalists. In addition to this, approximately 130 media outlets have been shut down, and 2500 journalists and media workers have lost their jobs in the period after the military coup attempt.

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