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European Parliament Priorities for Turkey Following the Elections of the 12th of June 2012: the Need for “Uzlaşma”

Journalists’ Working Conditions and Self-Censorship When the American columnist, Andrew Finkel, criticized the anti-democratic practices and prosecution of Ahmet Şık’s book at Today’s Zaman newspaper, it did not take long to be sacked from his post since Today’s Zaman is known to be related with the Fethullah Gülen movement and to be close to the government. According to Finkel, he filed his column at noon and was given notice four hours later and was refused to publish his article with an explanation that “he was no longer suitable with the paper’s editorial policy.” He later published his article on Hürriyet Daily News9. Andrew Finkel has been covering Turkey for foreign and local media for more than two decades10. The other news with a chilling effect came on July 8, 2011 when the successful anchor woman of NTV news channel, Banu Güven, got fired because of her oppositional views of the government. In an open letter to the Prime Minister posted on her blog, she explained the dilemmas, the pressures and the threats journalists have been facing in recent years11. According to a survey on self-censorship conducted among 67 journalists from a variety of media outlets, 91.4% of the journalists indicated that they have been applying self-censorship while 81.5% pointed out that self-censorship was widely common in the profession12. The Turkish journalists’ main concern is mostly losing their jobs because of what they print or say on the air.

9. “A Dilemma”, April 7, 2011. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=a-dilemma-2011-04-07 10. See http://gantdaily.com/2011/05/09/turkish-media-feel-pressure-from-ergenekon pprobe/ 11. See http://banuguven.com/2011/07/14/bir-mektup/#more-277 12. Arsan, Esra. “Gazeteci Gözüyle Sansür ve Otosansür,” Cogito, 67, pp. 56-73, Yapi Kredi Publications, Summer 2011.

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ASLI TUNÇ

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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