Justice and Development Party

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Alerts   |   Turkey

Reports of anti-press attacks amid Turkey protests

A TV crew films near a vandalized news vehicle in Taksim Square. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)

Istanbul, June 3, 2013--The press has come under fire from both government officials and protesters amid nationwide demonstrations in Turkey, with instances of attacks, obstruction, detention, and vandalism being reported, according to news accounts and local journalists.

Blog   |   Turkey

Conflating critics with terrorists in Turkey

Erdoğan speaks at a meeting in parliament on Wednesday. (AFP/Adem Altan)

The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is quick to brand critics as "terrorists," and that's one of the main reasons that Turkey was the world's worst jailer of the press when CPJ conducted its recent census of imprisoned journalists. This week, the prime minister and two pro-government newspapers applied the label once again to critics, illustrating the extremely difficult climate confronting any Turkish journalist who challenges official positions.

Reports   |   Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

2. Assault on the Press

Nuray Mert, one of Turkey’s most prominent political columnists and commentators, had a long history as a government critic, but in the view of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, her comments last year opposing administration policies toward ethnic Kurds went too far. Erdoğan lashed out with a personal attack that implied Mert was traitorous, setting off a torrent of public vitriol—including threats to her safety—and prompting her politically sensitive bosses to cancel her television show and newspaper column. 

Reports   |   Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

Sidebar: The Dignity of Speaking Out

By Nuray Mert

I am among those who have had the misfortune of becoming a dissident in Turkey. I do not claim that my misfortune is of the greatest kind—in Turkey, many have suffered for years on end, under various governments and policies with a shared trait of authoritarianism. In the 1990s, people were jailed, tortured, and murdered with impunity.

Reports   |   Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

3. The Anti-State Prosecutions

Journalist Ahmet Şık found himself behind bars for writing a book that was not even published. So explosive was the subject of The Imam’s Army that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likened it to a bomb. Şık was probing too far into one of the most influential and underreported forces in modern Turkish politics—the Gülen movement.

Reports   |   Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

4. The Kurdish Cases

The indictments of staffers of the Dicle News Agency are filled with the workaday details of a wire-service journalist: An editor fields tips about pro-Kurdish demonstrations; a reporter covers the story of a youth who set himself on fire as a political protest; another tries to track down a possible police crackdown against a Kurdish political party. But as conveyed in the government’s charge sheet, each detail is fraught with impropriety: The tips should have been passed along to the authorities; covering the youth’s protest was an act of propaganda; pursuing the crackdown story was intended to humiliate the government.

Reports   |   Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

5. Test of Political Will

On March 25, 2012, the day before the Nuclear Security Summit got under way in Seoul, South Korea, U.S. President Barack Obama met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss a world of troubles. On the agenda were efforts to compel Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, and attempts to contain Iran’s nuclear program. Immediately after the Seoul summit, Erdoğan traveled to Tehran for meetings with the Iranian leadership. And the next week, Istanbul hosted the “Friends of Syria,” attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and diplomats from 70 other nations.

8 results