On Wednesday, eighteen Turkish journalists were charged with spreading terrorist propaganda for publishing a photo of militants holding a gun to the head of Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, that spread throughout social media. Kiraz, was later killed during a shoot out.
Turkish authorities ordered the photo to be removed from Facebook,Google and other social media sites that hosted members of the Turkish press personal accounts.
Both journalist and editors have plead not guilty to the charges and say the photo was solely released to show the harsh realities of terrorism.
Press freedom has sharply declined in Turkey since 2010. Courts have restricted reporting on corruption and national security issues and journalists continue to face harassment and even death threats.
While President Tayyip Erdogan back in January stated that Turkish journalists were freer than any in Europe, since 2014 numerous journalists, including prominent columnists, lost their jobs. Those journalists that remain active reporters are subjected to extreme self censorship, in a nation whose constitution guarantees press freedom.