November 17, 2015

Özgür Düşünce published by sacked journalists hits newsstands

A group of journalists who were dismissed from the İpek Media Group after trustees took over its management in a government-backed operation in late October started to publish a new daily called Özgür Düşünce (Free Thought) on Tuesday.

Özgür Düşünce
Front page of the first issue of Özgür Düşünce that hit the newsstands on Nov. 17, 2015.

The first issue of the daily hit newsstands with the headline "This is not the country I dreamed of," featuring an interview with Hikmet Sami Türk, a law professor and former member of the Cabinet, who speaks of the undermined principles of democracy in Turkey under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Veteran journalists and columnists Nazlı Ilıcak, Tarık Toros, Yavuz Baydar, Ergun Babahan and Erhan Başyurt are contributing to Özgür Düşünce with their articles.

The daily can also be accessed via

In a dawn operation on Oct. 28, the İpek Media Group was seized and trustees were assigned to the management of the company. The police broke in by force to the group's headquarters and the trustees took over the management of the Bugün and Millet dailies, the Bugün TV station and the Kanaltürk TV and radio stations.

Over 80 journalists were dismissed from the İpek Media Group after the takeover.

The AK Party government has long been accused of trying to silence those who are critical of it in an attempt to cover up its wrongdoings. The seizing of one of Turkey's few critical media groups came less than a week before the Nov. 1 snap election, in which the AK Party won back the parliamentary majority it lost in the June 7 election.

Published on Today's Zaman, 17 November 2015, Tuesday