Ever since Recep Tayyep Erdogan assumed power in Turkey, the once liberal country is undergoing a drastic, state-sponsored radical change.
An example of the fundamentalism seeping in the country’s literate society is evident from the headline of this newspaper.
The headline in Turkish reads: ‘Death toll rises to 50 in bar where perverted homosexuals go’. The Turkish word ‘Sapkin’ means ‘perverted’.
Also, critics pointed out that the exclamation mark at the end of the headline suggests that the newspaper is celebrating the deaths. The newspaper has strong ties with Turkish President Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) – which has never shied from pro-Islamist leanings.
According to a report, the newspaper has often expressed support for the Al Qaeda.
Turkish think-tank the Hrant Dink Foundation revealed to the media that the paper has a long history of publishing condemnable articles and views on LGBTs, Christians, Jews and every other minority in Turkey.
In Turkey, journalists have been accusing the President of curbing free speech using autocratic means that are against the secular and liberal ethos of the only Muslim-majority nation in the world with such an image.
The Press Freedom Index of Turkey over five years till 2015.Freedom House
Erdogan has been sending his detractors in the press to the prison.
One of the most notable names has been that of Can Dündar, editor of Cumhuriyet, who has been sentenced to six years in prison on charges of espionage.
He had published an investigative article on how Turkey was arming Syrian rebels.
Thousands of journalists in Turkey are facing charges called ‘insult to the President’ ever since Erdogan came to power. In 2015, a 13-year-old child was also arrested for criticizing Erdogan on Facebook.
The clampdown on press freedom in Turkey started in a way since Erdogan became the prime minister in 2003 but it became intense since his ascension to the top post in 2014.
The 2016 Press Freedom Index of Turkey as per Reporters Without Borders. RSF
In a report published in May this year, The Economist
observed how Erdogan “hounded” Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu to resign paving the way for his one-man-rule over the country.