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Turkey Jails Record Number of Journalists in Post-coup Crackdown

Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak (C), also a well-known commentator and former parliamentarian, is escorted by a police officer (R) and her relatives (L and rear) after being detained and brought to a hospital for a medical check in Bodrum, Turkey, July 26, 2016.

There are at least 81 journalists imprisoned in Turkey, which is more than are jailed in any other country, and accounts for almost one third of all imprisoned journalists worldwide.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the journalists jailed by the Turkish government in the aftermath of a failed July coup attempt sent the total number of jailed journalists soaring from 199 in 2015 to 259 now.

The 81 journalists imprisoned in Turkey have been accused of anti-state activity, according to a CPJ report released Tuesday. Anti-state activity makes up the vast majority of charges levelled against journalists jailed around the world.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cracked down on journalists, academics, the military, and civilian government employees, following the July coup attempt.

More than 100,000 people have been removed from their jobs since government forces blocked the coup attempt. More than 35,000 others, including military officers and opposition politicians, have been arrested for suspected collusion with the coup plotters.

China and Egypt follow Turkey on the list of most imprisoned journalists, with 38 jailed in China and 25 in Egypt.