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How Erdogan became Turkey’s biggest media boss

A ferocious onslaught on critical media over the past year has left President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey’s biggest media boss.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during his meeting with mukhtars at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, March 16, 2016.  REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTSAPB4

A little over a year ago, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used a memorable argument to fight back against criticism of his authoritarian tilt and efforts to muzzle critical media. “If I were a dictator,” he said, “you wouldn’t be able to say all this.”

Two days after he made that statement, the June 7 general elections produced a big shock for Erdogan as his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since coming to power in 2002. Erdogan blamed the media, and, pushing the limits of the law, forced a new election for Nov. 1.

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