Turkey’s media is gasping for breath, choked by Orwellian pressures that have reached an unprecedented level since anti-government protests in 2013. With critical journalism largely subdued and many journalists in jail, an expansive web of government control has come to surround what was once Turkey’s dynamic mainstream media.
In a striking illustration of how encompassing the control has become, Muharrem Ince, a former presidential candidate from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), stormed out of a live interview May 29, furious that the channel, Haber Global, interrupted the interview several times to broadcast a speech by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an event commemorating the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul. “Turkey will get rid of this fascist order. Thirty-five channels are already broadcasting Erdogan’s speech,” Ince roared before leaving the studio. “The Republic of Turkey is not Erdogan’s property. I’m not scared of Erdogan,” Ince said.