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Turkey has canceled 1,954 press cards since January 2016, says vice president

Turkey’s vice president on Wednesday said 1,954 press cards were canceled by the government between Jan. 1, 2016 and Nov. 29, 2018 for various reasons, the Kronos news website reported.

The press cards of 705 journalists who were working for news outlets affiliated with the Gülen movement or were dismissed from state-owned media bodies over Gülen links were also canceled, Fuat Oktay added.

The government accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating a coup in 2016, although the movement strongly denies any involvement.

In Turkey press cards are given by a committee under a media watchdog attached to the government. Of the nine members of the committee, only one seat represents media organizations and unions.

Also, a new regulation making the cancelation of press cards easier was adopted in January.

There are 15,206 press cards holders in Turkey, Oktay said in response to a parliamentary question posed by opposition deputy Atilla Sertel.

Turkey has been pursuing a crackdown on the media in the aftermath of a July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Almost all media workers who are detained are accused of terrorism without credible evidence.

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