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European Court Presses Erdogan on Free Speech

A landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is putting pressure on Turkey’s prime minister to abandon his many libel cases against journalists. 
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Ankara June 9, 2013.  Still by far the country's most popular politician, Erdogan has pressed ahead with government business as usual. REUTERS/Umit BEKTAS (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTX10HTJ

It takes only 24 hours for any writing on press-freedom restrictions in Turkey to go stale. Hardly a day passes without a fresh blow to media freedoms.

A few weeks ago, the media reported that the Sabah newspaper censored the articles of its ombudsman Yavuz Baydar — also an Al-Monitor contributor — in which he criticized his newspaper for ignoring the Gezi Park anti-government protests. A newspaper censoring its own ombudsman was unprecedented even in Turkey, whose press-freedom record deteriorates by the day. Having censored two of Baydar’s articles, Sabah notified him formally on Tuesday, July 23, that he had been dismissed. The notification said that Baydar’s criticism of the state of press freedom in Turkey in an article he wrote for The New York Times amounted to an insult to his newspaper.

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