The Corner

Turkish Daily News Cracks Down on Dissent

More signs that freedom of the press is on the decline appear in Turkey as editors scramble to keep the ruling party happy.

After a frequent commentator on Turkish affairs and Turkish Daily News columnist wrote an article critical of the ruling party’s abuses in the Los Angeles Times,  the editor of the Turkish Daily News informed him that he would henceforth be banned from its pages for having criticized the prime minister.

This from a tagline of the columnist’s new home at EuropeNews:

Robert Ellis is a frequent commentator on Turkish affairs in the Danish press and since 2005 also in Turkish Daily News. However, after a critical article on the AKP in the Los Angeles Times in March, he was informed by TDN’s editor he was ‘persona non grata’. 

Meanwhile, after the Turkish court’s ruling that effectively slapped the ruling party’s wrist for ignoring constitutional provisions regarding secularism, the Turkish president has shown that the AKP will not now compromise or change its behavior, having vetoed the appointment of secularists to led Turkish universities and, in many cases, unilaterally substituted his own pro-Islamist candidates.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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