Over The Last Three Days, Turkey Has Arrested 11 Journalists and Closed 15 More Publishers, Continuing The Countries Crack Down on Free Press

It is stories like this that make me angry because of things I hear going on around the world, but grateful I live in a country where I have the Constitutional right to publish information – even if it does not reflect positively of the government or it covers “controversial” material.

Ever since the failed military coup July 2016, President Erdogan and the country has essentially turned ‘a 180’ in regard to their political policies – in more ways that one. For the purposes of this article, I am pointing out on Turkeys recent crackdown – or takeover – of media, journalism, publishing, television and the like.

If you were not aware, Turkey has a long tradition of standing in opposition to the “free press” and “open internet.” After all, Turkey has banned access to social media pages, such as YouTube, on a regular basis and have even gone as far as to bring an international lawsuit against Twitter for “sponsoring terrorism” – true story.

As previously reported by BBC News, as of 8/30/2016, President Erdogan has arrested:

  • 7,500 soldiers – including 118 generals and admirals
  • 8,000 police have been removed from their posts – 1,000 arrested
  • 3,000 members of the judiciary, including 1,481 judges, have been suspended
  • 15,200 education ministry officials have lost their jobs
  • 21,000 private school teachers have had their licenses revoked
  • 1,577 university deans (faculty heads) have been asked to resign
  • 1,500 finance ministry staff have been removed
  • 492 clerics/ preachers/religious teachers have been fired
  • 393 social policy ministry staff have been dismissed
  • 257 prime minister’s office staff have been removed
  • 100 intelligence officials have been suspended.

This morning, 10/31/2016, Amnesty International put out an official press release regarding the situation in Turkey, its read as follows:

Turkey: Latest detention of journalists a “blatant misuse of powers”

In response to this morning’s detention of 11 journalists and staff from Cumhuriyet newspaper and the shutting down of 15 media outlets over the weekend, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen, said:

Today’s detention of journalists and staff from Turkey’s only remaining mainstream opposition newspaper is part of an ongoing systematic attempt to silence all critical voices. Together with the shutting down of media houses over the weekend, this is the latest wave in a post-coup purge which has turned Turkey’s once vibrant media landscape into a wasteland.

The blatant misuse of emergency powers to shut down media houses must stop and more than 130 journalists currently in pre-trial detention must be immediately released.

Journalism is not a crime, yet the principles of free speech and a free press are threatened across the world. Amnesty International seeks the immediate and unconditional release of individuals who have been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free speech.

Every year around Human Rights Day on December 10th, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide write letters, emails, text messages, faxes and tweets on behalf of prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders and others at risk of human rights violations as part of Write for Rights.

Among other cases, the 2016 Write for Rights campaign calls for Egypt to drop all charges against photojournalist Shawkan, who was jailed for doing his job while covering a peaceful sit-in. Three years later, he is still held in Cairo’s notorious Tora Prison.

This article (As Turkey Arrests 11 Journalists This Morning, After Closing 15 Publishing Agencies This Weekend, Amnesty International Condemns President Erdogan’s Censorship of The Free Press) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article using a creative commons license with attribution to Brian Dunn and Alternative Medi4

Categories: Publishing/Media

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