Turkey’s Government Becoming Increasingly Authoritarian with Takeover of Media Outlets
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP-led Turkish government are becoming increasingly more and more authoritarian, with recent events suggesting additional attempts to repress criticism in Turkey. According to a Bloomberg report, “Two Turkish newspapers known recently for fierce opposition to the policies of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the nation’s ruling administration have turned pro-government overnight after their management was seized by a prosecutor earlier this week.”
The Bloomberg report goes on to say that
“The Millet and Bugun newspapers both ran stories lauding Erdogan on Friday, a day after Bugun ran a front page report saying the decision to appoint a trustee to manage the group that owns the paper was “confiscation.” Video footage on Thursday had shown the court-appointed trustee in the media group’s newsroom under police occupation, berating newspaper staff and firing reporters who disagreed with him.
The redesigned newspapers showcased their reinvention on Friday by following a formulaic front page model of Turkey’s pro-government press: a photo of Erdogan above the fold, and AK Party leader and acting Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu below it. On Thursday, the two seized papers joined pro-government stalwarts Sabah, Aksam, Yeni Safak, Turkiye and Star with that design.”
Erdogan and the AKP are attempting to gain more control of the government in Sunday’s election, and it seems that they are willing to further alienate the media and many citizens in the country, as they continue to violate human rights. The situation in Turkey has been quite tense in recent months, following two terror attacks, one in Southern Turkey, and the other more recent attack that took place in Ankara. In addition, the government has faced a number of political and public opinion challenges in recent months, and seems to be trying to strong arm their way to not only an electoral victory, but also in attempts to quiet critics in the country.
These recent developments are further evidence that what was once seen as a case of democratization is not rising authoritarianism in Turkey.