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Opposition slams media freedoms in Turkey

July 23, 2013

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s main opposition party says as many as 64 journalists are in prison and a further 123 are on trial, accusing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of turning the country into “semi-open prison” unfit for journalists to live in.

The Republican People’s Party on Tuesday released a report on imprisoned journalists in Turkey, a country where human rights groups say press freedoms are in decline and self-censorship by media groups is rife.

The party said the reporters are in prison for journalism-related activities, countering government arguments that they were jailed on terrorism charges.

Separately, a journalism group said as many as 59 media staff have been fired or forced to resign since a spate of anti-government protests in June, including some who tweeted in favor of protesters.

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