Freedom of the Press in Turkey: Challenges and Implications

The international NGO ‘Reporters without Borders’ (Reporters Sans Frontières, RSF) ranked Turkey 153rd out of 180 countries in their 2021 World Press Freedom Index. RSF underlines that the government uses everything in its disposal “to eliminate pluralism” in media. For journalists who are critical to regime, “the risk of imprisonment and the fear of being subjected to judicial control or stripped of one’s passport is ever-present”. In this Dossier, we aim to bring in different dimensions of the increasing oppression of the press in Turkey, aiming to address the following questions. What is the current situation regarding press freedom and independent media in Turkey? What are the consequences of increasing political pressure on free press for other fundamental rights and democratic life in general? What possibilities do exiled journalists have in covering the political situation in Turkey from abroad? What are other strategies in or outside Turkey to deal with the difficulties in journalism in Turkey?

The contributions to this Dossier are the outcome of a panel on freedom of the press in Turkey recently organized by the Center for Comparative Research on Democracy (CCRD), a newly established research center at Humboldt University Berlin with the joint funding by the Einstein Foundation Berlin and Stiftung Mercator (


Cover Photo: A demonstration to demand protection for journalists in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Istanbul – June 29, 2021 (Yasin AKGUL / AFP).



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