Arab Today, arab today turkey under fire over escalating media crackdown
Last Updated : GMT 12:34:13
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Turkey under fire over escalating media crackdown

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Turkey under fire over escalating media crackdown

Ankara - AFP

A record number of journalists are behind bars in Turkey as the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wields draconian laws critics say are creating a climate of fear to silence dissenting voices and promote \"pro-state\" journalism. Erdogan\'s Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) is marking a decade in power boasting of political and economic reforms that have changed the face of the predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular nation. But it is under fire from rights groups about its escalating crackdown on the media, particularly Kurdish journalists. \"The authorities are waging one of the world’s biggest anti-press campaigns in recent history. Dozens of writers and editors are in prison, nearly all on terrorism or other anti-state charges. The evidence against them? Their journalism,\" charged the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists. Turkey is now the leading jailer of journalists worldwide, according to an October report by the CPJ, imprisoning even more than Iran, Eritrea or China and setting alarm bells ringing about press freedom and free speech in a country aspiring to join the European Union.\"Ankara sees itself as a regional model for democracy and freedom, but its aspirations are deeply compromised by its anti-press practices. Turkey’s leaders must demonstrate the political will to dismantle the country’s complex system of media repression,\" the committee said. It identified 76 journalists imprisoned in Turkey as of August 1, including 61 who were put behind bars purely because of their journalism. But the government insists no one has been jailed simply because of their profession but because of criminal activities.Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said last year that the \"weed\" of terrorism was not limited to armed attacks but culture too. \"Terror is a multifaceted phenomenon that includes psychology and art,\" he said. \"Sometimes it is on canvas, sometimes in a poem, in daily articles, or even jokes.\" Critics say because of this mindset, many Kurdish journalists end up in courts, charged with links to the banned Kurdistan Workers\' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984. Irfan Aktan, a journalist who has been writing about the Kurdish problem since 2001, is one of those who landed in the dock on charges of proliferating \"terrorist propaganda\" over a 2009 article that included interviews with PKK members. \"I was summoned by an Istanbul prosecutor to testify two weeks after the article was published,\" Aktan, who works for Express magazine, told AFP. \"My journalism activity has been stigmatised as propagandist.\" In 2010, an Istanbul court gave him a sentence of 18 months in prison, plus a fine of 16,000 lira (nearly 7,000 euros), suspended on condition he does not commit the same offence within five years.That move, he says, was to force journalists to apply self-censorship. \"I\'ll face no legal charges only if I accept to be the state\'s journalist.\" Aktan said he fears his telephone might be tapped. \"I used to call my contacts for interviews but now I am afraid because I don\'t know if my calls will be used as evidence in the future,\" he said. Mainstream media groups and high-profile journalist have also been targeted by the restrictive Turkish laws In March, investigative journalists Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener were released pending the outcome of their trial, after spending 375 days in custody for their alleged involvement with a shadowy group dubbed Ergenekon which is accused of trying to overthrow Erdogan\'s government.   Media tycoon Aydin Dogan, who owns Turkey\'s largest media conglomerate, the Dogan Group, faced a record $3.9 billion in tax fines in 2009, sparking debate over government pressure on critical mainstream media. In September, AKP refused to provide accreditation for several newspapers, all of them its vocal critics, to cover a major party congress. Erdogan defended the move, saying he was \"not obliged to invite\" all newspapers to the convention. Critics say the large number of court cases brought by government officials, including Erdogan -- who himself was jailed in 1998 for reciting an Islamic-motivated poem -- have resulted in shallow news coverage. One of Erdogan\'s lawyers, Ali Ozkaya, said lawsuits lodged by the prime minister against people who had insulted him in the press have been \"quite a deterrent\" for others.      \"The wording of columnists has noticeably changed especially since 2003,\" he told the English-language Hurriyet Daily News. \"Reporters and columnists do not exceed the dose when levelling criticisms anymore.\" But in a letter to the CPJ, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin said the government had adopted many reforms in the past decade to improve democratic standards and charged that the claims about eroding press freedom were \"exaggerated.\" He said the majority of jailed journalists had been guilty of serious offences such as \"membership of an armed terrorist organisation, kidnapping ... bombing and murder\". Some observers have pointed the finger of blame at the European Union over its failure to revive Ankara\'s stalled bid to join the 27-nation bloc. \"In slowing down Turkey\'s accession process, the EU doesn\'t help the Turkish press and all those who are pressing here for more democratic reforms,\" said a Western diplomat who requested anonymity. But not everyone agrees. \"The growing restrictions on the freedom of press is Turkey\'s embarrassment. The EU cannot be an excuse,\" Can Baydarol, a specialist on Turkey-EU relations, told AFP. Turkey needs to look in the mirror \"if it is going to export democracy to its neighbourhood.\"

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today turkey under fire over escalating media crackdown Arab Today, arab today turkey under fire over escalating media crackdown

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017

GMT 06:15 2017 Monday ,27 February

Mohamed Bahari prepares new collection for spring 2017
Arab Today, arab today As Olympics loom, China plunges into snow biz

GMT 10:08 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

As Olympics loom, China plunges into snow biz
Arab Today, arab today Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career

GMT 06:07 2017 Monday ,27 February

Sheds light on major steps in 12-year career
Arab Today, arab today UN envoy sets out framework

GMT 07:25 2017 Monday ,27 February

UN envoy sets out framework
Arab Today, arab today Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues

GMT 06:43 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Kalam Nawaem made a difference in social issues

GMT 05:34 2017 Monday ,27 February

Brexit sows seeds of doubt for British farmers

GMT 06:38 2017 Sunday ,26 February

US rig count increases

GMT 06:01 2017 Sunday ,26 February

BRIC funds see inflows amid emerging equity boom

GMT 05:43 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Al-Gergawi quits Dubai Holding to focus on govt role

GMT 05:14 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Oil prices to average $50-$70 through 2022

GMT 14:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

China overtakes US as Germany’s top trade partner
View News in Arabic - Business: نفط وبتروكيماويات
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Parliament considers solutions to overpopulation

GMT 20:27 2017 Monday ,27 February

Parliament considers solutions to overpopulation
Arab Today, arab today Penguins in the age of dinos

GMT 11:44 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Penguins in the age of dinos
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president

GMT 06:18 2017 Sunday ,26 February

Aspires present the story of Egypt’s first president
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 06:42 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Reasons for the delay 'On the Stairs of Servants'

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 18:23 2017 Friday ,24 February

Fadi explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 19:45 2017 Monday ,20 February

Sarah Belamesh designs antiques of "ceramic"

GMT 10:51 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Pigs with edited genes show resistance

GMT 18:28 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Tourist guide explains types of tourism

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 06:28 2017 Tuesday ,28 February

Dumbphones survive rise of the smartphone

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday