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How a Turkish daily targeting army tutelage was banned for supporting a coup

Taraf, a plucky liberal newspaper operating on a shoestring budget, was the poster child for the AKP's efforts to defang the Turkish army. Its fortunes mirror the feud between the AKP and Fethullah Gulen.
A demonstrator holds newspaper read "Black day of the press" during a protest outside the Cumhuriyet newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey, November 27, 2015.  Around 2,000 people protested on Friday over the arrest of two prominent journalists on charges of espionage and terrorist propaganda, a case that has revived long-standing criticism of Turkey's record on press freedom under President Tayyip Erdogan. REUTERS/Osman Orsal  - RTX1W3XS

On April 27, 2007, the Turkish General Staff posted a statement on its website cataloguing the supposed anti-secular activities occurring under the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) watch. The underlying message of the "e-memorandum" was unmistakable: If Abdullah Gul, then foreign minister, whose wife wore the Islamic headscarf, persisted in his campaign to become Turkey's president, the army would intervene.

But Gul was elected, and the AKP grew stronger; the army was weakened, but not beaten. It was in this febrile atmosphere that a new newspaper, Taraf, was born.

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