Press freedom continues to suffer as AK Party regains power

Press freedom, freedom of expression and the rule of law look set to continue suffering as the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) regains a stranglehold on power in Turkey after a surprise victory in the elections on Sunday, amid developments including 71 journalists being fired from the Bugandun daily, which was recently taken over by trustees.
As AK Party supporters rejoiced in the partyand’s victory on Sunday, when it received 49 percent of valid votes, another group of people opposed to the AK Party and actively singled out and persecuted by the government fear that the situation will now get worse.
In a balcony speech Davutoilu made on the night of the election, he claimed that the AK Party will embrace all and will continue to serve all people without discrimination while denouncing hatred, violence and hostility.
However, just one day after the unofficial results were made public, Nokta magazine Editor-in-Chief Cevheri Ganduven and Managing Editor Murat andcapan were detained at the Istanbul Police Department after the latest issue of the publication was pulled from the shelves.
On Tuesday Ganduven and andcapan were arrested for andquotinciting the public to armed conflict,and” thus shattering hope of those who had refused to support the AK Party in this election.
In a written statement released on Tuesday, the Contemporary Journalists Association (andcGD)ondemned the AK Partyand’s ongoing attempts to silence critical media outlets, saying the andcGD is in solidarity with the arrested editors of Nokta.
On Tuesday, two days after the AK Partyand’s resounding win and several declarations from high AK Party officials that the party would not be and”revanchist,and” 71 journalists were dismissed from the ipek Media Group, which was unlawfully seized in a government-led police operation in late October.
Kamil Maman one of the journalists fired from Bugandun posted a series of tweets announcing that the trustees who had taken over the company had prepared a list of those and”to be sackedand” and that 58 people were on that list. Thirteen journalists and a tea maker working in the Ankara bureau of the ipek Media Group were also fired on Tuesday, raising the number to 71.
andquotFifty-eight journalists working for Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk were dismissed today by order of the trustees. Did someone say there would not be revenge?andquot Maman wrote in one of his tweets in reference to andOmer andcelik the AK Party spokesperson who recently declared that the AK Party would not be and”revanchistand” in its new term.
h2 Journalist fired from Bugandun: I will take up legal options available to meh2 andOmer andOnder, one of the journalists arbitrarily fired from Bugandunand’s Ankara office, told Todayand’s Zaman, that he felt he had been hard done by and would be pursuing the legal options available to him.
Pointing out that the trustee who had been appointed to the Bugandun Ankara office, Fatin Daiistanli, had told them that he wanted to work together, andOnder said that after he went out for a few hours and returned, Daiistanli told the office, and”all of your service contracts have been dissolved.and”
andquotWe didnand’t understand what happened. Everything was fine in the morning and then he [Daiistanli] received some orders from Istanbul and we were fired. I was handed this piece of paper,andquot andOnder said showing the document that had been signed by his new boss confirming his sacking.
h2 Whsitleblower Avni: Samanyolu and Zaman next in line to be taken overh2 On Thursday evening, Fuat Avni a whistleblower wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday that the government plans on taking over the Zaman daily and Samanyolu Broadcasting Corporation.
Avni purported that the remaining dissenting media outlets will be taken over by the government which will establish subservient media from them.
and”He [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] ordered the Samanyolu [Broadcasting] Group and the Zaman newspaper to be taken over. They are in line,and” wrote Avni.
and”Also by means of trustees he [Erdogan] is getting ready to take over Kaynak Holdings. His animosity is blinding him.and”
Avniand’s claims come days after a government led takeover of Koza ipek Holdings intensified concerns regarding threats to the freedom of the media and attempts to silence critics of the AK Party government and the president.
Samanyolu TV announced on Thursday it had stopped filming new episodes of some TV shows and soap operas for 15 days, a sign it is taking the threat of a takeover seriously.
h2 Pro-govand’t journalist Kanduandcanduk: People in STV and Zaman should find new jobsh2 Cem Kanduandcanduk, a staunchly pro-government journalist known for his threats against media and journalists critical of the government, said on Wednesday that people working in Samanyolu and Zaman should find new jobs for themselves.
and”They [Samanyolu and Zaman] will be taken over by trustees soon. Iand’m declaring it here. I donand’t know if those guys will show defiance or find a new job. Itand’s their last day,and” he said.
Cem Kanduandcanduk said if media mogul Aydin Dogan fires certain journalists such as Nazli Ilicak, Eyandup Can and Bandulent Mumay from the Dogan Media Group, the government might then show Dogan mercy.
Dogan, who owns the Dogan Media Group which includes the Handurriyet daily that was recently attacked twice by an angry mob headed by former AK Party deputy Abdandurrahim Boynukalin, faced additional threats from Kanduandcanduk, who said, andquotIf you donand’t dismiss the journalists that I mention, then you will pay the price for not obeying us [the government].and”
h2 CHP leader says Kanduandcandukand’s threats andquotbeginning of Goebbelsian regimeandquoth2 Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu recently responded to Kanduandcandukand’s threats against Aydin Dogan saying, and”This is a very brazen act, I am going to take this issue to parliament.and”
and”For a journalist to want his colleagues to be fired is something not seen in the history of the republic. It is proof that a Goebbelsian regime is beginning,and” he said in a recent meeting with journalists.
and”I would have wanted [Prime Minister] Davutoilu, who promised to embrace 78 million people, to have responded to [Kanduandcandukand’s] threatsand” Kiliandcdaroilu added. and”Even before the ink [on Davutoiluand’s speech] has dried, a pro-government journalist comes out and tries to redesign newspapers.and”

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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