Destinations Magazine

Turkey and the Media: Trying Times

By Stizzard
Turkey and the media: Trying times

FREDERIKE GEERDINK, a Dutch journalist with a close interest in the Kurds, reckons she is the only foreign journalist in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir. On January 6th anti-terrorist police raided her apartment. “Terrorism police just searched my house. Team of 8 guys. They take me to the station now. Charge: ‘propaganda for terrorist organisation’,” Ms Geerdink tweeted as she was hauled off.The timing could hardly have been worse. Bert Koenders, the Dutch foreign minister, was visiting Ankara. And even as Ms Geerdink was being grilled about her Kurdish contacts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, was telling diplomats “there is no freer press, either in Europe or anywhere in the world, than in Turkey.”After Mr Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AK) party came to power 12 years ago, his reforms were enough to get the European Union to open membership talks in 2005. But he has become increasingly intolerant. Fearing his ire, media bosses have sacked hundreds of critical hacks. The pressure rose when a corruption probe of Mr Erdogan’s inner circle became public 12 months ago. Last week police interrogated Sedef Kabas, a TV anchorwoman, for…

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