On the weekend of July 16, a coup occurred. Turkey military leaders attempted to overthrow Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan. The coup failed. Nearly 246 were killed. Since this attempt, Erdogan has been on the purge warpath. Not even Media is safe as Turkey shuts down media.
Erdogan’s government shut down many media agencies. This includes 45 newspapers, 16 TV stations, three media corporations, and dozens of radio stations. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube are also affected. Not only that, over 100 Turkish media members have been arrested and detained. These shutdowns include Internet services. In one morning alone, Turkish authorities detained 50 media members. They worked for Zaman newspaper. Prosecutors insisted that media organization be shut down. Zaman is rumored to have ties to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. Gulen is one of Erdogan’s biggest rivals and toughest critics. Erdogan blames Gulen for organizing the coup attempt. Gulen lives in Pennsylvania, due to a voluntary exile. Erdogan wants the US to extradite Gulen back to Turkey. Gulen denies any involvement. Human rights groups condemn this media shutdown. An Amnesty International director called this censorship a crackdown of freedom. She said, “Rather than stifling press freedom and intimidating journalists into silence, it is vital that Turkish authorities allow the media to do their work…”.
This is part of Erdogan’s purge. In the last several days, over 50,000 people have lost their jobs. Thousands have been arrested. They’re reports of torture, rape, humiliation, even mass graves being prepared. This is why Turkey needs free media, more than ever. This is why Turkey needs free Internet, more than ever. Once we allow Erdogan and his henchmen shut off free media, then we’re in trouble. That gives Erdogan the opportunity to do whatever he wants to whomever he wants. We need freedom of the press and the Internet to keep the Erdogans of the world accountable. We need to use our voice against censorship, especially online censorship. And another thing…why is much of the world keeping silent about this?
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