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Turkish journalists caught in cross fire of AKP-Gulen conflict

The latest corruption scandal will be no picnic to cover.
Protesters demonstrate against Turkey's ruling Ak Party (AKP) government and demand that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's resign because of the corruption investigation in Ankara December 18, 2013. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Wednesday a corruption investigation in which 52 people including the sons of three cabinet ministers have been detained was part of a "planned operation" to tarnish the government. In the first official comments on the investigation from a senior member of the go

It's every investigative reporter's dream come true: A corruption scandal involving the sons of key cabinet ministers, the gold-smuggling Iranian husband of a Turkish pop diva and cowboy contractors bribing and bulldozing their way to incalculable wealth. But don’t expect much honest reporting on what is poised to be the greatest challenge yet to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after a decade of uninterrupted rule. You may not get it. This is because honest reporting in Turkey, as I myself found out after being fired by a pro-government daily newspaper in April, can leave you without a job. Worse, it can land you in jail. As the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) put it in a new report, with 40 journalists behind bars, Turkey in 2013 is the “world’s top press jailer once more,” a title that neither China nor Iran have been able to wrest away.

The media has never been free in Turkey. When the generals ran the show, covering radioactive subjects such as their brutal oppression of the Kurds was a risky enterprise. Dozens of Kurdish journalists who ignored the risks were murdered by unknown assailants, their newspaper headquarters firebombed.  

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