Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Deputy Yüksel Mansur Kılınç, compiled a report on “Media in Turkey 2019” for ‘January 10 Working Journalists’ Day’. Kılınç, recording that the number of journalists arrested due to defamation cases of President Erdoğan reached 53, stated that Turkey ranking 99th out of 180 countries in terms of Global Freedom of the Press Index in 2002, however fell back to the rank of 157.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Deputy Yüksel Mansur Kılınç, in his “Media in Turkey 2019” report made for ‘January 10 Working Journalists’ Day’ laid out important data on media usage during governing Justice & Development Party AKP era. Underlining that closing of SEKA Paper Factory with privatization in AKP Era made press in Turkey totally foreign-dependent. Kılınç said that “Turkish media has a rooted and vast background which was formed through struggles, and can neither be limited to the ambitions of a single man nor to the Palace”.
Reminding that it has been 189 years since the first Turkish newspaper was released, Yüksel Mansur Kılınç recorded that with a tradition amounting nearly two centuries the Turkish media has experienced a steady decline within 17 years during AKP administration. Adding that the ‘Partisan Media’ order initially created by AKP was turned into the ‘Palace Media’ with the change in the Constitution, Kılınç also stated that the aim of the Palace is to transform all media in Turkey into the voice of a single man.
“PALACE MEDIA, IS IN THE PROCESS OF SELF-CONSUMPTION”
Stating that with the state institutions which were turned into ‘the Tools of The Palace Media Operations’, the media not bowing down to ‘Bossism’ was oppressed, “Turkish media has a rooted and vast background. This vast background formed through struggles, can neither be limited to the ambitions of a single man nor to the Palace” Kılınç said. Recording that the steady decline of the “Bossism” and AKP was also reflected in the ‘Palace Media’, “which is not followed by the public, is in the process of self-consumption. Media outlets connected to the Palace, started to shut down. This process will bring the opportunity to form the 21st Century ‘Free and Independent Media’” Kılınç said.
Coming from a media management background, some highlights from Yüksel Mansur Kılınç’s “Media in Turkey 2019” evaluation are as such:
- Closing of SEKA Paper Factory through privatization in AKP Era made press in Turkey totally foreign-dependent to paper material.
- After the 2008 economic crisis, expanses in publishing increased by up to %60.
- In 2019, more than 100 local daily newspapers and in 13 months 215 channels making satellite broadcasts nation-wide in Turkey were shut down.
- Although there is rapid progress in terms of followers and advertising, there is still not an ‘Internet Media Law’ in Turkey.
- According to the data from September 2019, while the unemployment rate in Turkey was %13.8, it ranged from %25-30 in the media sector. In the last 10 years, the number of journalists that are unemployed was more than 10.000. Second highest rate of unemployment is in the media sector.
- Only 6.507 media professionals are in a union, out of 861500 recorded employees in the press sector.
- In Press Cards Commission and Press Declaration Committee Board founded with the formation of the Presidential Communications Directorate, there are no independent press trade body representative.
- In the past year, press cards of 680 journalists were cancelled due to security concerns.
- Radio and Television High Council RTÜK, has only discussed 15 cases in 2019. All of the 15 cases belong to radios and televisions, deemed as critical of the government.
- According to the official circulation, 9 out of 10 best-selling newspapers, 9 out of 10 most viewed TV channels, 7 out of 10 most listened radio stations in Turkey, were either fully or partially owned by investment groups controlled by the governing party. Relations between nation-wide and local media ownership with the governing party, when put into perspective the ownership of AKP control reaches to %95.
- In the first 11 months of 2019, decisions on cancelling 121 programs, 1.086 cases of fines, 98 cases of broadcast prohibition and 59 cases of broadcast cancelling were taken by Radio and Television High Council RTÜK.
- The number of internet sites that are blocked for access, reached to 288.310. Amounting to a %258 rise in four years in terms of access blocking.
- Number of journalists jailed due to defamation cases on the President is 53. According to the Global Press Freedom Index, Turkey was placed 99th among 180 countries in 2002, while it is placed 157th in 2019.
- In the last one and a half year, 8 journalists were attacked physically and attackers got away with their attacks.
Translated by Nevzat Ahrar