Amnesty International has said the recent takeover of Koza İpek group is a major blow to freedom of expression in Turkey, calling on the Turkish authorities to ensure that media outlets that are part of the group can report freely and independently after government administrators were sent in to replace the senior management of the group.
“The raids are yet another shocking attack on journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey, and come just four days before a crucial parliamentary election on Sunday,” the human rights group said in a statement on Wednesday.
Recalling that the Koza İpek group contains outlets that span television, print and online media, including Millet and Bugün newspapers and the Bugün and Kanaltürk news channels -- which are all fierce critics of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, the statement said Wednesday’s actions come in an environment in which journalists, human rights defenders, activists and ordinary citizens are routinely prosecuted and brought to trial for peacefully expressing their legitimate opinions.
“The recent attacks against the Koza İpek group provide yet another example of the authorities efforts to silence dissent by harassing and intimidating government critics,” Amnesty International said.
Published on Today's Zaman, 28 October 2015, Wednesday