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Product codes are generally used for progressive image transmission when random errors and packet loss (or burst errors) co-exist. However, the optimal rate allocation considering both component codes gives rise to high-optimization complexity. In addition, the decoding performance may be degraded quickly when the channel varies beyond the design point. In this paper, we propose a new unequal error protection (UEP) scheme for progressive image transmission by using rate-compatible punctured Turbo codes (CAPTOR) and cyclic redundancy check (CRC) codes only. By sophisticatedly interleaving each coded frame, the packet loss can be converted into randomly punctured bits in a Turbo code. Therefore, error control in noisy channels with different types of errors is equivalent to dealing with random bit errors only, with reduced turbo code rates. A genetic algorithm-based method is presented to further reduce the optimization complexity. This proposed method not only gives a better performance than product codes in given channel conditions but is also more robust to the channel variation. Finally, to break down the error floor of turbo decoding, we further extend the above RCPT/CRC protection to a product code scheme by adding a Reed-Solomon (RS) code across the frames. The associated rate allocation is discussed and further improvement is demonstrated.