Niagara Foundation strongly condemns the Turkish government’s aggressive takeover of the nation’s largest newspaper.
On Friday, March 4, 2016, the Turkish government seized control of Zaman, a clear violation of freedom of press. Hours after police detained prominent businessmen affiliated with the newspaper, Istanbul prosecutors called for judiciary appointment of new management and board members. The takeover of Zaman has led to large protests in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey.
The takeover has already raised huge concern from Amnesty International, Freedom House and other prominent human rights organizations. Freedom House released a statement describing the takeover as a “flagrant violation of both rule of law and freedom of press” and Amnesty International’s Turkey expert, Andrew Garner, stated that the organization is “deeply troubled” by the event and the state of media in Turkey.
We at Niagara Foundation are greatly concerned with these events and are saddened by the actions of the Turkish government. The Zaman takeover is a direct violation of democratic freedoms and a country claiming to be a free society cannot conduct itself in such a manner. In addition, we have taken many of our intercultural trip attendees to the Zaman headquarters, and it is shocking that this injustice has occurred where many of us visited and met with important journalists. Last year, we hosted a Media & Ethics Forum which addressed many of the same issues that reared their heads in Istanbul today. Niagara Foundation is a firm supporter of democracy and urges all global citizens to stand against tyranny and speak out against those who would circumvent our freedoms.
If you want to take a stronger stance on this issue, please consider signing this petition on Change.org: https://www.change.org/p/president-recep-tayyip-erdogan-condemn-turkey-s-crackdown-on-press-freedom
For additional information, please visit the following links:
The New York Times
The Committee to Protect Journalists