Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018


Currently, Turkey is the country with the most jailed journalists. According to the Journalists Union of Turkey, 145 journalists and media workers are in prison as of February 2018. In the decades that press freedom was monitored in Turkey, the suppression of press and violations of the free expression rights under the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is unprecedented. Turkey once had a potential of emerging as the first modern democracy in a Muslim majority nation. However, if Turkey's current state is not soon reversed, the country will be left with with a media landscape where the voices of pro-government press are heard and opposing publications are silenced. Taking Turkey’s political history into account, I examined the current journalistic state of the country. To answer the question of why Turkish journalists get censored, I analyzed Turkish news agencies and studied scholarly articles to identify which topics raised by journalists get censored. I looked in more detail at the issues of self-censorship and imposed censorship and how that affects Turkish journalists today and in the future. In order to understand how censorship occurs, I took a closer look at institution that allows that — the judiciary system. I concluded that suppression of press in Turkey stems from the Republic founding in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. In order to move forward as a democracy, Article 301 of Turkey’s Penal Code has to be abolished or completely revised.