Not a day goes by without a new entry in the catalogue of attacks against freedom of the press and freedom of expression by Turkey’s government. imc TV, Hayatın Sesi TV, Dicle News Agency, Jin News Agency and so many more have been closed one after another. Today, it’s the turn of Cumhuriyet newspaper.
First it was media outlets said to be close to the Gülenist movement, then it was Kurdish and socialist publications and now it’s Cumhuriyet, which is known for its oppositional stance, that have attracted the insatiable wrath of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Using the attempted coup of 15 July as an excuse to declare a state of emergency, the AKP is seeking to firmly suppress all opposition, lest the slightest oppositional voice be heard.
It’s a tradition in Turkey: after every large attack or incident, a state official soberly proffers in front of the cameras: “Whoever benefits from this is the perpetrator.” Now we’re asking: Who’s benefiting from 15 July?
Freedom of thought and expression are universal rights. Freedom of thought and expression are not possible in a country in which the news cannot be freely conveyed.
May we remind the cheap impersonators of Abdülhamid once more: You can close TV channels and newspapers, but you can’t silence them.
We call on all to protect the right to convey and receive the news.