Numerous journalists have fallen foul of the law over the last year. Adil Soz has recorded 19 assaults on journalists and 17 criminal cases including 11 libel suits, one allegation of inciting social unrest and one of encouraging ethnic hate. Aside from criminal prosecutions, over 100 journalists faced civil libel suits. Adil Soz also counted 180 cases where access to websites, online forums and blogs was denied.
The media sector as a whole is becoming more biddable as a result of heavy state funding – almost 90 per cent of media outlets are recipients of public money to varying extents. That makes it easy to demand that they toe the line, killing competition, encouraging self-censorship and resulting in a situation where it is hard to tell commercial and state-run media content apart.