January 2, 2015

“The crackdown on critical media in Turkey”

Speaking at the 30th Covering Turkey event on Tuesday, themed as “The crackdown on critical media in Turkey” organized by the Medialog Platform in İstanbul, Zaman Daily’s Chief Deputy Mehmet Kamış, Samanyolu TV Editor-in-Chief Metin Yıkar, Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Zaman Bülent Keneş, and Director General of the Cihan News Agency Abdülhamit Bilici have answered the questions.

Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanlı, STV network executive Hidayet Karaca, as well as a number of other journalists, columnists, scriptwriters and producers were arrested on Sunday, 14th December 2014 in a large-scale media crackdown. Following questioning some of the detainees were later released.

Thus, hundreds of thousands of people across various provinces of the country continued to voice their objection to a government-orchestrated operation that resulted in the detention of Hidayet Karaca and Ekrem Dumanlı, stating that government attempts to silence free media will fail.

Then, the European Union Council has said recent police raids and the detention of a number of journalists and media representatives in Turkey call into question the respect for freedom of the media, which it characterized as a "core principle of democracy."

Also the US State department has announced that Media freedom, due process, and judicial independence are key elements in every healthy democracy and are enshrined in the Turkish constitution. As Turkey’s friend and ally, we urge the Turkish authorities to ensure their actions do not violate these core values and Turkey's own democratic foundations.

The Zaman daily and the Samanyolu television station are among the media outlets which have been critical of the government for alleged corruption since two major graft probes went public in December of last year. The police operation came just ahead of the first anniversary of graft probes on Dec. 17 and 25 of last year.

Published on Medialog, 31 December 2014, Thursday