MOSCOW (Sputnik) — As the sweeping crackdown in Turkey following a failed coup continues, Amnesty International fears that purges are being extended to censor media houses and journalists, including those critical of government policy, the watchdog said on its website.
The organization said the crackdown on the media in Turkey was currently of "exceptional proportions."
"While it is understandable, and legitimate, that the government wishes to investigate and punish those responsible for this bloody coup attempt, they must abide by the rule of law and respect freedom of expression," Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher, was quoted as saying by the watchdog.
On July 15, the Turkish authorities said that an attempted coup was taking place in the country. It had been suppressed by the following day. Numerous news websites in Turkey have been shut down since then at the request of the prime minister's office, on the pretext of endangering national security or public order. The Turkish government reportedly revoked the licenses of 25 media houses.
The country's crackdown on journalists and restrictions on freedom of speech have been condemned by the international community, including the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia.
Turkey ranked 151st out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' 2016 World Press Freedom Index.