vrijdag 23 maart 2018

Turkey's Government Takes Control Of Last Remaining Independent News Source

Turkey is joining the ranks of China, Russia, Iran, Cambodia, Egypt, Burundi, Cameroon and others in criminalizing the reporting of news that criticizes the government, and jailing reporters who do so. On Thursday, Turkey's government began the acquisition the last major independent media company, Dogan Holding, which owns well known publications including Hurriyet and CNN Turk. Aydin Dogan, the 81 year old billionaire who founded Dogan Holding in 1979, announced the sale of all the media assets to Demirören Group, a media group with a close relationship with Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Dogan has had a difficult relationship with with Erdogan's AK Party since the party came to power in the year 2002. The holding face a record $2.5 billion in tax fines in 2009, which Dogan claimed were politically motivated. The fines forced Dogan to sell some assets to Demirören in 2011.  France 24 and Bloomberg
Ever since Turkey faced a botched coup attempt in June 2016, Erdogan has used the coup attempt to become increasingly dictatorial and authoritarian at every opportunity. Dozens of journalists have been jailed on phony charges since the coup attempt, but Erdogan started his purge well before the coup attempt, as shown by the actions against Dogan since 2003. In particular, four months before the coup, Turkey and the world were shocked when Erdogan shut down Zaman, the country's major opposition newspaper, the largest newspaper in the country, and jailed some of its reporters. There's almost no independent press remaining in Turkey. Cumhuriyet, a mainstream opposition newspaper much smaller than Dogan, has had a dozen of its employees imprisoned on phony charges, although many have been released after a year in prison for lack of evidence.... Guardian (London) and Hurriyet (Ankara)