In a sharply-worded response, Amnesty International described today’s take-over of Zaman newspaper by court-appointed trustees as “the latest deeply troubling episode in the Turkish authorities’ ongoing onslaught on dissenting media.”
“By lashing out and seeking to rein in critical voices, President Erdogan’s government is steamrolling over human rights,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey expert. Today’s attack is simply the latest salvo in a sustained attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Turkey.
Just last week, the TV channel IMCTV was taken off air, silencing the only national news channel reporting a counter view of the situation in south-eastern Turkey, where round-the-clock curfews were imposed as armed clashes devastated entire towns.
Last October, court-appointed administrators took over media outlets within the Koza İpek group. President Erdogan has even refused to recognize a Constitutional Court ruling releasing the prominent Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül. The two had been had been imprisoned since November 2015, awaiting trial on charges of assisting a terrorist organization, espionage and revealing confidential documents.