Zaman daily reporters were not allowed to attend a press conference of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that was held at İstanbul Atatürk Airport before Erdoğan flew to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) on Monday.
In a tweet, Zaman's Derviş Genç said that the daily's reporters could not attend the event on an order from Erdoğan. He wrote, “We have not been allowed to attend the press conference that will be held before Erdoğan's visit to the KKTC.”
On Feb. 5 of this year, Genç was verbally attacked by Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time, after he asked the Turkish leader a question about an alleged report prepared by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The report was on Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and his network of corrupt individuals, which allegedly contained relatives of certain ministers in the Cabinet. Erdoğan declared that Genç was a speaker for the “parallel state” at a press conference held at the same airport before a visit to Germany.
Some media outlets that do not have pro-government coverage have been discriminated against by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and Erdoğan. Those media outlets have not been allowed to attend many of the ceremonies and events held by the government or Erdoğan.
A total of 12 media outlets -- including the Yeni Çağ, Birgün, Aydınlık, Evrensel and Yurt dailies and the Ulusal Kanal, Bugün, Samanyolu Haber and Kanaltürk stations, as well as Zaman, the Today's Zaman daily and the Cihan news agency, which are known to be affiliated with the faith-based Hizmet movement that is inspired by the teachings of Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen -- were not accredited to attend the AK Party's extraordinary congress that was held on Aug. 27.
Similarly, several media outlets were not allowed to cover Erdoğan's inauguration ceremony that was held at the presidential palace on Aug. 28. The Bugün, Samanyolu, SHaber and Kanaltürk stations, as well as the Sözcü daily, Zaman and Cihan were not permitted to attend the event.
Published on Today's Zaman, 01 September 2014, Monday