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The chapter explores the erosion of media freedom in Turkey. It examines the severe and systemic restrictions on Turkey’s media. After offering a snapshot of the profession of journalism during the period of military tutelage, the chapter goes on to explain that even after the armed forces were removed from political life press censorship intensified, especially under the rule of the AKP. While the erosion of the military’s political power is a necessary development for democracy in general, the free and open press, another important pillar, was manipulated, co-opted, and, in some cases, it was unmercifully attacked and subdued by the AKP government. This chapter explains the dynamics of how the Turkish government was able to firmly sequester the media by exploiting a system that connects the wider business interests of media owners to both the AKP and President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. Essentially, the corporatisation of the media with its links to big business and the ruling party all but hollowed out the independent press, allowing the government to avoid accountability and degrade a check on power and the freedom of expression, both of which are necessary requirements for a healthy democracy.
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- Power, Patronage and Press Freedom: The Political Economy of Turkey’s Media
Simon A. Waldman