Press Council president: Main problem is reluctance to adhere to rule of law

Pinar Tandurenandc, the president of the Press Council, has said the biggest problem facing Turkey is the unwillingness of the government and its supporters to adhere to the rule of law, stating that the media is and”failing the testand” of protecting free media.
Tandurenandc said in an interview with Todayand’s Zaman that the media itself is not defending its freedom, drawing attention to the reluctance of the Turkish media to speak out against the takeover of Koza ipek Holding.
On Oct. 27, an Ankara court ordered the takeover of Koza ipek Holding, which owns the ipek Media Group, appointing trustees to run its five critical media outlets — Bugandun TV, Kanaltandurk, the Bugandun daily, the Millet daily and the Kanaltandurk radio station.
The outlets, owned by businessman Akin ipek, were confiscated based on an expert report that stated Koza ipek Holdingand’s financial records were implausibly clean.
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman, Tandurenandc said the firing of journalists after the takeover of Koza ipek Holding by trustees violated Article 30 of the Constitution concerning the press as well as many articles pertaining to individual freedoms.
Referring to the Turkish mediaand’s response to the takeover of Koza ipek Holding, Tandurenandc said, and”The media is failing this test, unfortunately.and” Pointing out that what happened to the companies under the holding, Tandurenandc commented that in the future it can happen to somebody else. and”It [the government] has brought it to this stage, step by step, and it will continue [to oppress media freedom],and” she said.
and”It [the government] does not want any obstacles in front of it,and” Tandurenandc added.
Tandurenandc also decried the arrest of Nokta Editor-in-Chief Cevheri Ganduven and Managing Editor Murat andcapan on Tuesday after the magazine printed its latest issue in which the lead story criticized recent government policies. The government carried out the arrests on the grounds that Ganduven and andcapan were encouraging people to commit crimes in the country.
Raising the issue of the governmentand’s heavy handedness towards the media, Tandurenandc said, and”Right now, there is the andlsquoI did it, so itand’s doneand’ mentality.and”
and”This is not something that is seen in democratic countries,and” she said. and”Incredible things are happening, that is why the country is split down the middle as if with a knife,and” Tandurenandc added, referring to the 49.3 percent obtained by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the Nov. 1 snap election.
Predicting that the government-led raids against dissenting media outlets will spread to media outlets like the Zaman and Handurriyet newspapers, Tandurenandc said: and”Only one part of the media is trying to stand up [to the oppression]. We [the Press Council] are aware of this and will continue to say it.and”

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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