Turkish Government Takes Over Critical Newspaper And Then Immediately Issues Pro-Government Edition

220px-Recep_Tayyip_ErdoganZaman_Front_PageThe rapid decline of civil liberties under the authoritarianism of Turkish president. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been a regular point of discussion on this blog. He has been gradually arresting or threatening the dwindling number of independent journalists in Turkey and this prosecution may succeed in forcing the remaining reporters into silence or living in exile. The latest victim of his abusive rule is Turkey’s largest-circulation newspaper which was seized by the government. The newspaper, Zaman, was one of the most read sources of criticism of Erdogan and this government. The government has now silenced that voice and taken over the newspaper. The very next issue under government control was a markedly pro-government publication.

It takes very little now to be arrested in Turkey if you are critical of Erdoğan or his government. With the support of religious parties in the destruction of secular values in Turkey, Erdoğan has had a free hand (including with continued U.S. support) in erasing civil liberties in Turkey after the election of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his coalition of Islamic parties. Just last month, we discussed the arrest of Mehmet Emin Altunses, 16, who allegedly committed the crime of “insulting” Erdoğan, calling people who use birth control “traitors” and saying Muslims discovered America. You are not allowed to be disrespectful or insulting in discussing Erdoğan. Then there was the prosecution of model and former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac, 26, for criticizing Erdogan by quoting a few lines from a poem called the “Master’s Poem” from weekly Turkish satirical magazine Uykusuz. Erdoğan’s totalitarian measures have earned him the nickname “Buyuk Usta” (the Big Master). Even a joking reference to Gollum and Erdoğan is enough to land you in jail today in Turkey.

After the government raided the Zaman opposition newspaper Friday, there were protests. However, the most chilling development was the transformation of the newspaper into a pro-Erdoğan publication in the very first issue under his government’s control. The top story glowingly described how Erdogan attended a ceremony marking a key phase in the construction of a bridge in Istanbul.

It is a disgraceful legacy for Erdoğan but there remains the equal question of our legacy in supporting his abusive and authoritarian rule.

13 thoughts on “Turkish Government Takes Over Critical Newspaper And Then Immediately Issues Pro-Government Edition

  1. I suppose tit for tat requires unpleasant measures on the part of the USA. Kick Turkey out of NATO and similar actions.

    Alternatively, ask FCNL for a wise course.

  2. Trump was being interviewed on TV last night and discussed the topic of the invasion of Iran and the overthrow of some dictator there. Since that dictator has been overthrown Iran has become a terrorist territory. It is better to have a dictator in a pirate place in the middle east than some democracy. The people are not fit for democracy. We made the world safe for democracy in World War I. Does not anyone recall the battle cry of Woodrow Wilson? He is also the guy who re-segregated the military and Washington, DC. He was the last of the southern Democrats who was a DixieCrat. Then we had Coolidge and Hoover (both Republicans) then FDR, then Harry Truman, then Ike, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, et al. But our history is only somewhat relevant here. Some of our Presidents take it upon themselves and our nation to go cure things in the world. That is a mistake. Let others wallow in Watergate.

    • I agree with you Elmer Fudd. I have lived in the UK all my life. I am used to the system of laws and life here. I have a wide mix of friends from all backgrounds and all religions. I would not want that to change. To change a country by force or too quickly is disastrous. If you changed the UK or USA by pushing a different type of law or system on them, there would be problems. I think we are making the world a more dangerous place by overthrowing the leaders.

  3. And this is the country whose government is negotiating on refugees and using them as a chip in its negotiation to enter the EU! If the EU welcomes Turkey into membership, it will be the end of Europe.

  4. Does a country need an official narrative to avoid total chaos? All those years that the US allegedly had “Freedom of the Press”, the “press”, other than local vital statistics, police blotters, and sports scores, consisted largely of official press releases with an official narrative. Whether or not that narrative was accurate was irrelevant.

    As a result of Facebook, Twitter, online blogs, and alternative media, the official narrative is increasingly suspect. Erdogan can print whatever he wants. The public is probably not believing a word that is printed.

  5. Whats the difference between state “run” and state “fed”. For instance the fake fema press conference….and the wh press getting to only run approved pics of potus? Is the difference that there the “reporter” is jailed and here……no one covers what happened to them. Cuz it could happen to them next. Im thinking that gal editor who bailed. _(atkinson sp)…breitbarts untimely and that poor chap from the rolling stone…..were a us general said it was a ” classic” (hopefully not) case of car hacking that sent him to a fury death. So they “jailed” a journalist. What does bersinski’s dhs office of propaganda do to journalists? We can only speculate.

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