Turkish prosecutors are seeking a jail term of up to five years for two Bloomberg reporters who had written about how authorities responded to last summer’s currency collapse, the US-based news agency reported.
The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the United States.
Prosecutors accuse the two reporters, Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic, of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability, Bloomberg said late Thursday.
The news agency’s editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said: “We condemn the indictment issued against our reporters, who have reported fairly and accurately on newsworthy events. We fully stand by them and will support them throughout this ordeal.”
An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for September 20. Turkish media reported 50 others, including journalists and columnists, were also indicted for commenting on the currency crisis on their social media accounts.
In April, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Western media coverage of the country’s economy after a Financial Times report questioned the central bank's management of foreign currency reserves.
Turkey’s economy has slipped into its first recession in a decade after a currency crisis last year battered the lira, leaving foreign investors jittery over the government’s policies to manage growth.