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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

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.

Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Turkey's Legal Problem

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, buoyed by a landslide election victory, has led an attack on press freedom. (AP/Boris Grdanoski)

With the aid of anachronistic legislation and a rigid judiciary, Turkish officials and politicians have curbed free expression by subjecting journalists to endless court proceedings and legal costs. The EU and the U.S. are no help. By Robert Mahoney

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