Istanbul, Oct 29, () – The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemned raids on several pro-opposition media outlets belonging to the Koza İpek Group.
"By replacing news broadcasts with camel films days before a parliamentary election, Turkey's leaders have shown they no longer are interested in even pretending to respect the country's democracy" CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "We call on the Turkish government to immediately return Bugün TV, Kanaltürk TV, and the other Koza İpek media outlets to their rightful management."
Hours after a trustee panel has shut down two television channels belonging to the Koza-İpek Group, dailies Bugün and Millet had their printing halted in the late hours of Oct. 28.
"Anti-terrorism statutes have enabled authorities to conflate coverages"
Police has broken into the HQs in Istanbul and shut down live television broadcasts, following a Turkish court order to assign trustees and seize the control of the company. Riot police officers have used water cannons and tear gas against protesters who had gathered in support of the news outlets.
The group was accused of disseminating terrorist propaganda and providing financial support to the alleged Gülen-led illegal organization, while Turkish authorities have declared the alleged organization a terrorist group.
Turkey's broadly worded anti-terrorism statutes have enabled authorities to conflate coverage of banned groups as well as reporting on sensitive issues with terrorism or other anti-state activity, as at least seven journalists were in jail in Turkey, most on anti-state charges, CPJ has urged in a recent report.