ISTANBUL (AP) — Two reporters for the U.S.-based Bloomberg news agency have appeared in court accused of trying to undermine Turkey's economic stability with a story they wrote on last year's currency crisis.

The trial against Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic opened in Istanbul on Friday. Thirty-six others have also been charged for their social media comments on the story written in August 2018, increasing concerns over media freedoms in Turkey.

The trial is part of a fierce crackdown on journalists and media outlets. The Turkish Journalists Syndicate says at least 126 journalists or media workers are currently in prison.

Karakaya and Yalinkilic face up to five-year jail terms if convicted.

Bloomberg has condemned the prosecution and defended the pair, saying they reported "fairly and accurately on newsworthy events."

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