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Free Press Dying in Suffocation under Turkey’s Erdogan Administration

Free Press Dying in Suffocation under Turkey's Erdogan Administration

Following the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey’s radical Islamic fascist Recep Tayyip Erdogan is shedding enough of crocodile tears and has been getting sufficient media coverage. Death of Khashoggi has paved the way for Erdogan in emerging as an angel. But in reality, he is no angel. Instead, Erdogan is an evil of highest order. In January this year, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had termed the journalists as ‘gardeners of terrorism’ saying, “Terror doesn’t form by itself. Terror and terrorists have gardeners. These gardeners are those people viewed as thinkers. They water (terror) with the columns in their newspapers. And one day, you find, these people show up as a terrorist in front of you.”

Erdogan also grew visibly upset by a question about Syria asked by a French journalist during the press conference.

The French reporter asked him about a 2015 story by the Cumhuriyet newspaper about Turkey allegedly sending weapons to Islamist rebels in Syria. Erdogan has repeatedly blamed the resulting scandal over the story, as well as the botched coup, on US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

In response to it, a rowdy and arrogant Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “When you ask your questions, be careful on this point. And do not speak with the words of another. And I want you to know, you do not have someone before you who will easily swallow this.”

In September this year, the Newsweek in a report had termed Erdogan’s Turkey as ‘World’s biggest prison for journalists.’

The Newsweek said, “Two decades ago a man stood in front of a large rally in Istanbul and read out a few lines of poetry. Soon after, he was arrested and sent to prison for inciting religious hatred. Today, that same man presides over a government that is imprisoning poets, writers and journalists on an industrial scale.

“Indeed, under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has the become the world’s biggest jailer of journalists with more than 150 imprisoned since the failed coup attempt in July 2016. They have been charged with terrorism offences as a result of articles they have written, posts they have shared on social media or opinions they expressed. Several, such as Ahmet Altan, have received life sentences.

“More than 180 media outlets have been shut down and an estimated 2,500 journalists and other media workers have lost their jobs. Unsurprisingly this year’s World Press Freedom Index placed Turkey 157 out of 180 countries, sandwiched between Rwanda and Kazakhstan. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that of all the imprisoned journalists in the world, one third are languishing in Turkish prisons.”

Any journalist, not towing to Erdogan will be immediately labelled as terror-patron and either sent to prison or murdered.

In October 2018, the Guardian published an opinion editorial titled – Erdoğan will pretend to be anything – even ‘journalists’ best friend said, “The horrendous details of the case are a gift to conspiracy theorists. Why did Khashoggi go to the Saudi consulate when he knew the extent of the ruthlessness of his government? Did someone guarantee him security and sell him out at the last minute? How come there were recordings from the consulate where the alleged murder and dismembering of his body took place? Why, all of a sudden, was the mainstream Turkish newspapers, known for acting as mouthpieces for the Turkish government, embraced as the most trusted references for global news networks?

“But one aspect goes beyond the immediate issue of what happened and who ordered the killing: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s newly discovered role as a die-hard fan of journalists and his determined occupation of the moral high ground. The truth is that for Turkish critics and devotees alike, this sudden transformation comes as no surprise. Highlighting the inconsistencies in Erdoğan’s public statements has been a popular social media sport in Turkey for a few years. It gives the opposition a bitter, exhausted laugh. Even the global audience no longer requires in-depth political knowledge to see that Erdoğan is a great pretender.”

While Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always beein discovering a terrorist in each of those journalists who are critical of his rogue governance, he is over-enthusiastically making huge sound centering Jamal Khashoggi case. Here, Erdogan is not even uttering a single word about Khashoggi’s affiliations with the Muslim Brotherhood or his exposed support towards Al Qaeda.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor of Blitz

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