Turkey convicted Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak Oct. 10 for engaging in terrorist propaganda and sentenced her to two years and a month in jail as part of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s war on the free press.
Albayrak was charged for her coverage of Turkey’s military campaign against the banned Kuridish separatist party PKK.
Currently in New York, Albayrak plans to appeal the decision.
Gerard Baker, WSJ editor-in-chief, blasted the “unfounded criminal charge and wildly inappropriate conviction” that wrongly singled out a balanced WSJ report. “The sole purpose of the article was to provide objective and independent reportings on events in Turkey and it succeeded," he said.
The Committee to Protect Journalists calls Turkey, which has 81 journalists behind bars, the “leading jailer of the press.”
"We call on Turkish authorities not to contest Ayla Albayrak's appeal and to drop all charges against her," said Nina Ognianova, CPJ Europe & Central Asia program coordinator. "Dozens of journalists are imprisoned for their work in Turkey and this conviction is a signal that conditions for the press are continuing to deteriorate. Rather than dispensing justice, Turkey's judicial system has become an instrument of persecution."