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Journalists acquitted in Turkey over reports on currency crisis

A bridge spans the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul (Anthony Devlin/PA)
A bridge spans the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul (Anthony Devlin/PA)

A Turkish court on Friday acquitted two reporters for the US-based Bloomberg news agency who were accused of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability with a story on Turkey’s currency crisis in 2018.

Istanbul-based reporters Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic had faced up to five years in prison over the article they wrote in August 2018.

Some 30 other defendants, including prominent economist Mustafa Sonmez and journalist Sedef Kabas, who were also on trial over their social media comments on Turkey’s economy and banks, were also acquitted.

All defendants, who were charged following a complaint by Turkey’s banking watchdog, had denied the accusations.

Turkey Economy
A productor prepares vegetables at an open air food market, in Ankara (Burhan Ozbilici/AP)

Their case was seen as being part of a government crackdown on journalists and media outlets critical of the government.

As many as 26 journalists and other media workers are currently in jail, according to Turkey’s Journalists’ Union.

Turkey’s currency hit record lows in the summer of 2018, amid worsening relations with the United States following the arrest of an American pastor.

Turkey’s economy is currently in the throes of another crisis, with inflation sitting at 61% and the lira falling 44% in value against the dollar in 2021.

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