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The New Turkey and Its Discontents$
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Simon Waldman and Emre Caliskan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190668372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190668372.001.0001

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Breaking the News

Breaking the News

(p.119) 4 Breaking the News
The New Turkey and Its Discontents

Simon A. Waldman

Emre Caliskan

Oxford University Press

This chapter explains the severe and systemic restrictions of the press during the period of military tutelage. However, despite the armed forces being removed from political life, press censorship intensified during the AKP period. Under military tutelage, the press was severely curtailed, even compromised. While the erosion of the military’s power is good for democracy, freedom of expression did not improve. Instead of allowing the media to flourish, the government has manipulated it, co-opted it or attacked it fervently and furiously. The lack of a free and fair press in Turkey represents a significant democratic deficit. Not only does it avoid government accountability and erode a check on the power of the government, but it also highlights severe restrictions on freedom of expression. The fear and self-censorship of the media diminishes the internal debate on Turkish politics and the direction of the country, and it is a reflection of the state of affairs in Turkey as a whole.

Keywords:   Freedom of expression, Press censorship, Media co-optation, Democratic deficit

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