Fethullah Gulen

Turkish Media: From Bad to Worse

After a decade of manipulations that ensure a cozy relationship between the press and the president, Erdogan is now overseeing a harsh crackdown that is closing media outlets and putting journalists in prison.
Last August, the Turkish government shut down Ozgur Gundem, a Kurdish daily newspaper. Police raided the newspaper’s headquarters and arrested more than 20 journalists. The closure was ordered by an Istanbul court, which found the newspaper was a “mouthpiece” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed in the country.
The closure of Ozgur Gundem is only a small part of the Turkish government’s clampdown on media and journalism in the country, following the failed military coup in mid-July 2016.

After Two Rounds of Elections, Turkish Government Intensifies Attacks on Critical Media

After the snap elections on 1 November 2015 when the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) won a landslide victory in Turkey capturing 317 seats in the 550-member Turkish legislature, an increase of 59 deputies which results in AKP holding the absolute majority, the concerns over media freedom in Turkey have increased. A lot had changed in five months since the last election in June.

We witnessed bombings in Ankara that killed 109 people and injured more than 400. The refugee crisis became a major issue as Turkey currently hosts more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing the four-and-a-half year conflict in their country.

This chaos actually helped AKP increase its public support. Even the European Commission (EC) decided to withhold the Turkey Progress Report until after 1 November 2015 election; it is a document which contains serious criticisms on the Turkish government’s violations of human rights, freedom of the press and other moves that contradict Copenhagen criteria, the fundamental principles for joining the EU, like rule of law and protection and respect for minorities.