Opposition slams turning Bugun and Millet dailies into gov’t mouthpiece

The first editions of the Bugandun and Millet dailies published after the governmentand’s appointment of trustees to the papersand’ management gave no space to the views or actions of opposition parties, prompting the opposition to condemn the conversion of the dailies into government mouthpieces.
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman on Friday, Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) Secretary-General Gandursel Tekin said President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s very goal of turning the media into his mouthpiece was achieved with the removal of government criticism in the latest editions of Bugandun and Millet.
and”When we look at the [latest] editions of TV channels and dailies run by the trustees, we see the goal [of the government to silence critical views] has been achieved. andhellip In the first editions of the papers [published] under the management of trustees, there is not a single bit of [views] of opposition parties. When people look at these dailies, they might assume that opposition parties or other parties [except the ruling AK Party] arenand’t campaigning just three days before the [Nov. 1] election,andquot said Tekin.
In remarks to Todayand’s Zaman on Friday, Grand Unity Party (BBP)hairman Mustafa Destici said the transformation of Bugandun and Millet into pro-government dailies is aimed at manipulating votersand’ preferences in the election.
and”They [the government] want to change peopleand’s preferences [on Nov. 1] by muting the voice of all opposition. I say without doubt that they would ban all media outlets that do not carry [government] propaganda if they had the means to do so. If they had emerged as the single-party government from the June 7 elections, they would have done it. If they win the Nov. 1 election, they will do that,and” Destici said.
Police raided the headquarters of the media outlets on Wednesday after the Ankara 5th Penal Court of Peace ruled on Monday for the takeover of the administration of Koza ipek Holdingand’s companies, which include critical media outlets, in a government-backed move. The trustees took over the management of the Bugandun and Millet dailies, as well as Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk, following a police intervention in which many journalists and protesters were subjected to excessive police force early on Wednesday.
A group of police officers also cut the Kanaltandurk broadcast just after the police broke into the holdingand’s headquarters, while another group stormed the production control room of Bugandun TV on Wednesday.
The appointed trustees are either members of the AK Party or former employees of pro-government dailies, casting doubts over the impartial guardianship.
Bugandun and Millet distributed their first publications on Friday after the trustees took over the management. However, those dailiesand’ Friday editions, prepared under the authority of the trustees, were full of propaganda reports for the AK Party government and President Erdogan, while there was almost no news report about the CHP and the other parliamentary opposition parties, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP), ahead of the Nov. 1 snap election.
h2 Conversion of dailies into govand’t bulletin shows takeover was politicalh2 During a live interview on a radio channel on Wednesday, interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu said the takeover of the management of Koza ipek Group by trustees was a judicial process and that the government had no role in it.
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman on Friday, Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Masum Tandurker dismissed Davutoiluand’s remarks, saying that if Kozaand’s takeover was the result of a judicial process, it would not have turned into a government bulletin.
and”During debates on whether the takeover of the ipek Media Group was a judicial process or a political decision, government officials said it was a legal process. The [first] editions and publications of papers and TV channels under the management of trustees refute [the government officials]. The decision [to appoint trustees to the group] was a political one,and” Tandurker said.
Koza ipek was put under administrative receivership by the court on suspicion of financing terrorism, on Monday. When the legal grounds asserted by the court for the decision failed to satisfy judicial experts, the companyand’s lawyers disclosed one of the pretexts that led the way to the handover of the firm.
and”In countries like Turkey which have volatile economic conditions, it does not suit financial, technical or commercial realities that companies would not have improprieties in their corporate structures where large sums of money are exchanged,andquot the courtand’s decision stated.
Felicity Party (SP) leader Mustafa Kamalak told Todayand’s Zaman that legal conditions required to appoint trustees to Koza were not met, rendering the takeover of the group a political move. Kamalak went on to say that the conversion of the Bugandun and Millet dailies to a bulletin of Erdogan and the government conveys the reason for the appointment of trustees to the ipek Media Group. and”The underlying reason for the appointment of trustees is understood [when we look at the first edition of the papers after the takeover],and” Kamalak said.