7th August 2013 – In an article in the Financial Times newspaper remarks that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is erasing press freedom in Turkey.
David Gardner signed article claims that Erdogan has seen the protests as an existential threat. “Prime Minister aggression now knows no bounds. Erdogan’s intolerance against sharp criticism threatens to destroy the independence of the remaining Turkish media” it said.
Author continues: “Erdogan’s hostility to the press is not new. Despite the fact that more than 10 years in power, Erdogan and the AKP cannot seem to get rid of the opposition mentality. This is understandable up to a point. They engaged in a great war with Ataturk created secular elites, army, the judiciary and media acting as Kemalist cheerleaders in the past coups.”
The process of taming the media has accelerated after Erdogan’s second election victory in 2007. After dispersing the army and judiciary tried to shut down his party, he started raiding raiding media.
“Lots of generals, politicians, academics and journalists who are allegedly trying to overthrow the government had been arrested. Dogan Group was given a $ 2.5 billion tax penalty and they had to dispose Milliyet in February. The newspaper was scolded “Down your journalism” after publishing the minutes of talks with Öcalan and writer Hasan Cemal had lost his job.”
“But the media revealed the deeper sank during the rebellion in Taksim. Whilst İstanbul was choking in tear gas; Turkish media had shown programs with penguins, schizophrenia, and rays of Mars. Sabah newspaper published Erdogan’s view of cigarette on the front page”
“Yavuz Baydar representative of the readers at Sabah was dismissed last month. According to Journalists’ Union of Turkey, Baydar is one of the 22 journalists was laid-off after the Taksim events and 37 journalists forced to resign.
Erdogan referred social media sites such as Twitter as ‘trouble’. They can break news blockade. However Twitter users not necessarily extend deep into Anatolia.
Erdogan knows this, and his paranoid intolerance, is wiping out Turkey’s radiance which once was seen as a castle of democracy in the Muslim world.