What is left of Turkey's press freedom? Baton charge, teargas, beatings, blood and moans of the stifled.
Zaman, Turkey's most widely read newspaper that didn't hesitate publishing the government's violative policies and corrupt dealings was seized by the police March 4, 2016. Journalists were barred from entering the premises and their newsroom was taken over. The editor was fired and managers arrested. Previous stories posted on Zaman aren't available. The newspaper's website zamantoday.com is no more accessible other than the message "web server down." Zaman, which was also in the forefront of the Hizmet movement, was transformed into a speedy propaganda machine within 48 hours displaying little besides cover images of Rajjab Erdogan and AKP 'achievements.' Days later, yesterday March 8, Cihan News Agency was also similarly seized by government agents. A total of 7 journalists were killed in Turkey between 2014 and 2015. Until now in 2016, two have already been killed.
Undoubtedly Erdogan's rising despotism will make it easier and quicker for Turkey to join the EU. As Finian Cunningham expresses in his latest piece "Western silence as Turkey slides to fascism," the dreaded scenario heralds the return of Europe's 19th and early 20th centuries policies. Gerrymandering of the divide & rule scheme has variants. Just as long as Turkey's fascism is directed at its own people and its traditional allies & neighbors would be Europe's dream-come-true.