Turkey is a safe country for reporters who are truly practicing journalism and not engaging in terrorist activities, the minister for European affairs, Omer Celik, said on Thursday.
Turkey has 145 media workers in jail, according to the European Federation of Journalists. Among them is Deniz Yucel, a German working for Die Welt newspaper who was arrested in February.
Mathias Depardon, a French photojournalist, was detained this week and remains in custody, according to Reporters Without Borders.
“Turkey is a safe country for foreign journalists, for real journalists and for those who want to be in Turkey for journalism,” Celik said in Strasbourg, standing alongside Thorbjorn Jagland, the chief of the Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights body.
He said that Turkey would take measures against people who “under the identity or cloak of journalism get involved in the activities of terrorist organizations.” He also warned reporters on “attending meetings of terrorists.”
Turkey ranks 155 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index.