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Several dozen journalists, including prominent columnists, lost their jobs as a result of such pressure during the year, and those who remained had to operate in a climate of increasing self-censorship and media polarization.
In 20 the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Turkey as the worst journalist jailer in the world (ahead of Iran and China), with 49 journalists sitting in jail in 2012 and 40 in 2013.
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It has also developed links with media groups, and used administrative and legal measures (including, in one case, a .5 billion tax fine) against critical media groups and critical journalists: "over the last decade the AKP has built an informal, powerful, coalition of party-affiliated businessmen and media outlets whose livelihoods depend on the political order that Erdogan is constructing.
Those who resist do so at their own risk." Since his time as prime minister through to his presidency Erdogan has sought to control the press, forbidding coverage, restricting internet use and stepping up repression on journalists and media outlets.
Journalists faced unprecedented legal obstacles as the courts restricted reporting on corruption and national security issues.
During the 1980s and 1990s, broaching the topics of secularism, minority rights (in particular the Kurdish issue), and the role of the military in politics risked reprisal. For example, publisher Fatih Tas was prosecuted in 2002 under Article 8 at Istanbul State Security Court for translating and publishing writings by Noam Chomsky, summarizing the history of human rights violations in southeast Turkey; he was acquitted, however, in February 2002.Following the Turkish War of Independence, the Sheikh Said rebellion was used as pretext for implementing martial law ("Takrir-i Sükun Yasası") on March 4, 1925; newspapers, including Tevhid-i Efkar, Sebül Reşat, Aydınlık, Resimli Ay, and Vatan, were closed and several journalists arrested and tried at the Independence Courts.