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06-Jul-2017 21:45

The BBC noted that while some outlets are aligned with the AKP or are personally close to Erdoğan, "most mainstream media outlets – such as TV news channels Haber Turk and NTV, and the major centrist daily Milliyet – are loath to irritate the government because their owners' business interests at times rely on government support.

All of these have tended to steer clear of covering the demonstrations." Turkey’s Journalists Union estimated that at least "72 journalists had been fired or forced to take leave or had resigned in the past six weeks since the start of the unrest" in late May 2013 due to pressure from the AKP government.

In April 1960, a so-called investigation commission ("Tahkikat Komisyonu") was established by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

It was given the power to confiscate publications, close papers and printing houses.

On the date of Bianet's publication, 61 people, of whom 37 journalists, were convict, defendant or suspect for having insulted or personally attacked the then-PM, now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The European Court of Human Rights condemned Turkey for violation of the freedom of expression in the Abdurrahman Dilipak case (Sledgehammer investigation), and the Turkish Constitutional Court upheld the violation of the freedom of expression of five persons, including a journalist.

Following the Turkish War of Independence, the Sheikh Said rebellion was used as pretext for implementing martial law ("Takrir-i Sükun Yasası") on March 4, 1925; newspapers, including Tevhid-i Efkar, Sebül Reşat, Aydınlık, Resimli Ay, and Vatan, were closed and several journalists arrested and tried at the Independence Courts.Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP) party, said 64 journalists have been imprisoned and “We are now facing a new period where the media is controlled by the government and the police and where most media bosses take orders from political authorities.” The government says most of the imprisoned journalists have been detained for serious crimes, like membership in an armed terrorist group, that are not related to journalism.Bianet's periodical reports on freedom of the press in Turkey published in October 2015 recorded a strengthening of attacks on the opposition media during the AKP interim government in the third quarter of 2015.During the 1980s and 1990s, broaching the topics of secularism, minority rights (in particular the Kurdish issue), and the role of the military in politics risked reprisal. For example, publisher Fatih Tas was prosecuted in 2002 under Article 8 at Istanbul State Security Court for translating and publishing writings by Noam Chomsky, summarizing the history of human rights violations in southeast Turkey; he was acquitted, however, in February 2002.

It has also developed links with media groups, and used administrative and legal measures (including, in one case, a .5 billion tax fine) against critical media groups and critical journalists: "over the last decade the AKP has built an informal, powerful, coalition of party-affiliated businessmen and media outlets whose livelihoods depend on the political order that Erdogan is constructing.

Anyone not following the decisions of the commission were subject to imprisonment, between one and three years.



By some accounts, Turkey currently accounts for one-third of all journalists imprisoned around the world.… continue reading »


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