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Gezi Cleansing In Turkish Media

Many journalists lost their jobs and suffered from police violence following the shifting of Prime Minister Erdogan’s hard-line reactions to media freedoms.
An injured journalist is filmed and helped by his colleagues during clashes between riot police and May Day protesters in central Istanbul May 1, 2013. Turkish riot police clashed with thousands of May Day protesters in Istanbul on Wednesday, firing water cannon and tear gas at crowds that tried to break through barricades to reach the city's main square, witnesses said. The incidents followed the pattern of recent years, when May Day demonstrations in Turkey's largest city have often been marked by clashes
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Turkish journalists have become victims of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hard-line reactions to the Gezi Park resistance that erupted as a societal explosion after the May 31 police intervention and that spread to the whole country. Erdogan chose to see the Gezi Park movement — which has lost its scope and intensity of the June events but whose effects and ramifications will continue — as an international plot spearheaded by the “high interest-rate lobby” that seeks to topple him.

The prime minister built his policy on an approach that criminalized the Gezi opposition. He tried to unite his followers around himself by sticking to this narrative and with it he silenced some critical voices from inside his party. Erdogan must have thought that his polarization policy based on charges of an “international plot” had provided him with an opportunity to exert even more pressure on journalists — hence the expanding of already substantive press freedom gap in the country.

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