Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies
Where Do We Go From Here? Many questions regarding the future of the media freedom and human rights issues are difficult to answer and this precisely what still rattles a deeply polarized society. As discussed above, Turkish justice system puts forward anti-terror measures against journalists who are only doing their job. Especially, particular articles under the Anti-terror Law providing for prison sentences in cases involving “propaganda for a terrorist organization”, very often lead to journalists’ being brought before special courts for organized crime. Because of various punitive laws, the country remains a minefield for critical reporting and investigative journalism. It seems that it should not be outrageous to remain wary over country’s future path including the Prime Minister’s growing intolerance to criticism and authoritarian tendencies and over the 57 journalists who are in prison, the ongoing trials that can result in imprisonment of journalists, the increasing trend of self-censorship among journalists, lack of journalists’ unions or effective press associations, how draconian Anti-Terror Law and articles of the Penal Code are being used to muzzle and intimidate the press, and over the creeping restrictions on the Internet. Turkey’s odyssey towards democracy will definitely not be an easy one. Despite the progress made in other fields of the society, the situation of freedom of expression and press freedom remains particularly worrying. Economic development and respect for human rights do not necessarily go hand in hand. The above-mentioned topics point to some of the contentious debates on freedom of the expression in Turkey, especially from a human rights perspective. Those obstacles damage Turkey’s international reputation and more importantly impede Turkey’s efforts to gain EU membership. On the other hand, there are also signs for optimism. Young population tends to be more digitally-literate and constantly pushes for digital activism on social media. Digitization of media content will definitely change the Turkish media landscape. The user-generated content along with wide use of mobile phones will offer a more diverse news media sector. Since the mainstream media is not one of the most trusted institutions, the young population will turn their faces to digital environment. Currently, 38 percent 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...