Free Press

Turkish Journalists Complain of Government Repression

Democracy without the freedom

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Press freedom has become a burning issue in Turkey after the police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul's Gezi Park and the way Turkish media initially avoided covering it.

As police fought running battles with protesters in June the mainstream news channels opted to air documentaries—including, infamously, one about penguins.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently remarked: "Not everyone has to like us. I'm being frank. There is no such obligation."

That appeared to suggest tolerance for opposing views. But many sacked journalists are sceptical.

Since the Gezi Park protests—the biggest challenge yet to the AKP government after 11 years in power—at least 75 journalists have been fired or have resigned, the Turkish Journalists' Union says.