German Greens’ zdemir: Any initiative to silence media will turn Turkey into Putin’s Russia

Several German politicians, including the co-chair of the German Greens Party, have harshly criticized a Turkish prosecutorand’s recent request to prohibit critical media outlets from using the stateand’s communications infrastructure.
Cem andOzdemir, the co-chair of the Green Party in Germany, criticized the move to stifle dissenting media in an interview with Todayand’s Zaman on Wednesday, stating that the request aims to clamp down on the critical media ahead of the upcoming June 7 general election. and”They [the government] might as well curtail the freedom of the only TV channel left where the opposition can make its voice head so that we can salute a Turkey that has only one voice and one thought,and” andOzdemir said sarcastically.
According to andOzdemir, the move to silence the independent media is an attempt to and”transform Turkey into an intolerant place where no differing voices are heard, similar to [President Vladimir] Putinand’s Russia.and”
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman, German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said that the German government is closely following the prosecutorand’s initiative and that the European Commission (EC) is also watching the developments.
h2Bundestag president: Freedom of press indispensable for democratic societiesh2 The president of the Bundestag, the German parliament, has also voiced his concerns regarding the proposed muzzling of independent media in Turkey, telling Todayand’s Zaman that he is and”watching the developments in Turkey with concern.and”
Dr. Norbert Lammert, a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), said: and”The premeditated actions by institutions toward media representatives openly contradict the principles of freedom of press and expression. The freedom of the press and expression are indispensable for a democratic society.and”
h2Any action against the media before election is a clear attack on press freedomh2 The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), one of the leading international press freedom watchdogs, also issued a statement, calling on the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications to refuse to obey the prosecutorand’s request. and”Diversity of media and sources of information are essential for freedom of expression, information and communication. It is important for Turkey to have critical media. Any action against the media in Turkey shortly before Juneand’s general election is a clear attack on press freedom in the country,and” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic wrote on Tuesday.
Ankara Public Prosecutor Serdar Coikun, who is the head of the Bureau for Crimes against the Constitutional Order, sent a petition to the Turkish Satellite Communications Company (TanduRKSAT) Directorate General, which falls under the Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications, on April 27 asking it to deny use of the state-owned satellite connection to certain media outlets.
Turkish media reported that the prosecutorand’s demand came as part of an investigation into claims about the and”parallel structure,and” and that it particularly targets the media outlets inspired by the Gandulen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement. The and”parallel structureand” is a term invented by Erdogan to refer to members of the Gandulen movement, which is inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen. The term came into use after a massive corruption scandal which Erdogan has claimed was part of a Gandulen movement plot to overthrow his government. The movement has denied all the allegations.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman