EU officials urged to bring up Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis during EU-Turkey high political dialogue

Nine international organisations sent an open letter to the European delegation engaged in a high-level political dialogue with Turkey, urging them to address the freedom of expression crisis in the country. The letter refers to the clampdown on journalists and media outlets through the introduction of new legislation, widespread closures of media outlets, prosecutions of journalists, and the dismissal of 10 000 media workers. The letter further criticises the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) for failing to recognise the impact of repression on Turkish journalists and civil society, saying that the ECtHR’s response has thus far been weak. Moreover when there were rulings on journalists, they were ignored by the Turkish authorities. In the same line, the Freedom on the Net 2018 report, published in early November 2018, showed that the Internet is not free in Turkey due mostly to violations of users’ rights and limitations on online content.