An international media freedom watchdog says Turkish government officials have defended Turkey's much-criticized press freedom record but have agreed to improve the situation for journalists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday it welcomed Turkish officials' commitment to reforming press laws and making files of jailed journalists available for independent review. The statement was issued after a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials Thursday.

CPJ chairman Sandy Rowe said: "We believe officials recognize the depth of the international concern."

CPJ has previously cited Turkey as the world's worst offender for imprisoning journalists. Turkey is also criticized for intimidating journalists who publish critical material.

The watchdog said at least seven journalists are still being held in prison, while others have been conditionally released but could still face prison.