ANKARA, Turkey — In late March, Turkey’s 20-year-old liberal daily Radikal announced it was closing down, two years after it terminated its print edition to become a web-only publication. Though financial strains were said to have forced the closure, the real reason was an open secret — the daily’s editorial line and writers had long irked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In his valedictory column, Radikal veteran Cengiz Candar — also an Al-Monitor columnist — said he was ending his four-decade career because doing journalism in Turkey was no longer possible.
The government-media struggle has been omnipresent in Turkey. Previous governments, too, have sought to control the media, but none could even hold a candle to the means of repression and intimidation the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has employed.