Democracy in Crisis: Corruption, Media, and Power in Turkey | Freedom House

Democracy in Crisis: Corruption, Media, and Power in Turkey

Washington

Turkey’s government is improperly using its leverage over media to limit public debate about government actions and punish journalists and media owners who dispute government claims, deepening the country’s political and social polarization, Freedom House concludes in a report issued today.

“The government must recognize that its efforts to control a free debate are further alienating Turkey’s citizens and could potentially threaten the country’s stability,” the report said. “It could also put at risk Turkey’s integration with Europe and its strong alliance with the United States.”

“The crisis in Turkey’s democracy is not a future problem,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House and a co-author of the report. “The media face tremendous pressure from the government, and the government now has widened its attacks to other institutions.”

The report catalogs the Turkish government’s actions to suppress freedom of speech, which have intensified since the emergence of a major corruption scandal in December 2013. Over the past year, dozens of journalists have been fired as a result of government pressure, and government officials’ threats against journalists have become common.

The report provides short and long-term recommendations to the Turkish government, the European Union, and the United States for how to support Turkey’s democracy.

Turkey is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2014, Freedom of the Press 2013 and Freedom on the Net 2013.

To learn more, visit:
Freedom in the World 2014: Turkey
Freedom of the Press 2013: Turkey
Freedom on the Net 2013: Turkey
Blog: Freedom at Issue

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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