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Ahead of elections, Turkey clamps down on press freedom

The Turkish government’s mounting pressure on mainstream and opposition media ahead of the Nov. 1 elections results in a physical assault on a popular journalist.
Smashed glass is seen at the damaged entrance of the headquarters of the Hurriyet daily newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey, September 8, 2015. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu appealed for calm on Tuesday after crowds angered by renewed Kurdish militant violence attacked newspapers and offices of a pro-Kurdish political party. The unrest took place after Kurdish militants killed 15 police officers in two bombings in eastern Turkish provinces. The PKK attacks have triggered nationalist anger against Kurds.
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September 2015 in Turkey will be remembered as a month in which suppression of press freedom reached an unprecedented level in almost all realms and attacks on journalists escalated.

The month began with a police raid on the offices of the Bugun newspaper and its sister TV channel as part of a judicial probe into the Gulen movement, the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) former ally that now stands accused of being a terrorist group. The two media outlets are owned by Koza Ipek Holding, a business group close to the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, which the authorities now call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO). Koza Ipek is accused of financing FETO, a term first used in July in an indictment drawn up by the chief prosecutor’s office in Konya.

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