October 27, 2015

EP rapporteur says media situation in Turkey ’very worrisome’

The European Parliament's Turkey Rapporteur Kati Piri has said the respect for media freedom is a key condition for Turkey's European Union membership bid after Turkish authorities moved to seize a large critical media group.

"Respect for freedom of press is key condition for Turkey's EU bid. Media situation ahead of important elections is very worrisome," Piri tweeted, hours after Turkish police showed up outside the headquarters of Koza-İpek Holding to seize the management of the business group.

Turkish authorities appointed several trustees to replace the management of İpek-Koza Holding business, which houses media outlets including Bugün TV, the flagship station that has emerged as a main platform for opposition politicians over recent months.

The takeover of the management of Koza İpek Holding's 22 companies, including critical TV stations Bugün TV, Kanaltürk and two newspapers, comes just days before Turkey is set to have a repeat parliamentary election on Nov. 1. The move has intensified concerns about the deteriorating state of freedom of speech and of the media in Turkey.

The EU and the US, along with other international rights groups denounced the move.

Published on Today's Zaman, 27 October 2015, Tuesday