Istanbul, May 25 () - The New York Times published an editorial over the latest remarks by Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan targeting the Doğan Media Group and daily Hürriyet, urging a discontinuation of the harsh policies toward democracy and press freedom in Turkey for the sake of winning elections.
The editorial, titled “Dark Clouds Over Turkey,” drew attention to the difference between the latest issue and previous examples of intimidation, referring to the complaints filed against the daily’s editors.
“Mr. Erdoğan has a long history of intimidating and co-opting the Turkish media, but new alarms were set off this week when criminal complaints were filed against editors of Hürriyet and its website over a headline Mr. Erdogan had objected to” the editorial said.
The paper also signaled a gloomy atmosphere for the country’s upcoming June 7 elections as press freedom violations and undemocratic implementations have dominated the country’s agenda.
“While the country has faced tough political campaigns before, this one is especially vicious and the mood seems unusually dark and fearful. Mr. Erdoğan appears increasingly hostile to truth-telling. The United States and Turkey’s other NATO allies should be urging him to turn away from this destructive path” the editorial said.
Erdoğan and his supporters slammed the Doğan Media Group and Hürriyet over the daily’s May 16 online report on the death sentence handed to deposed former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, saying the article’s headline on the daily’s website was tantamount to a death threat against Erdoğan. The headline at issue read: “The world is shocked! Death sentence for president who received 52 percent of the vote.”