October 28, 2015

Black day for Turkish media: Today’s Zaman shows solidarity with İpek group

In a show of solidarity with its colleagues in the İpek Media Group, which was seized early this week, Today's Zaman dedicated its front page on Wednesday to the outrageous takeover of the management of the Koza İpek Holding company.

Framed in black, the front page of Today's Zaman featured a headline story which expressed concerns that the seizure of the holding's 22 companies, including four media outlets, could be a sign that more attacks on Turkish media are in the pipeline.

The dailies Bugün and Millet, which are owned by the group, had come out with black front pages on Tuesday to protest the crackdown on the group's media outlets. They also published an editorial note titled “A dark day… for our democracy, for our freedom and for Turkey.”

Turkish police on Wednesday raided the headquarters of the media outlets within the group after the Ankara 5th Criminal Court of Peace ruled on Monday for the takeover of the administration of the holding's companies, which includes critical media outlets, in a government backed move. Several trustees, most of them criticized for having links to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) were appointed to the group's administration after the ruling.

The police forcibly entered the corporate headquarters of Koza İpek Holding after being blocked from entering the building by the lawyers of the group, who challenged the authenticity of the court document because it did not bear an original signature. However, backed by riot police in gas masks, the police officers broke down gates, used pepper spray on the lawyers and made their way into the building by force.

The seizure of the holding is seen by many as an attempt to silence critical voices just days before the Nov. 1 parliamentary election, and raised concerns about a fair and transparent election process.

Published on Today's Zaman, 28 October 2015, Wednesday