More than 100 Turkish media outlets closed in continuing assault on free expression
Earlier this week, the Turkish government hinted that their crackdown on regime opponents was almost over.
But yesterday, there was another round of closings and dismissals of suspected coup supporters. More than 100 opposition media outlets were shuttered, with thousands of people losing their jobs. And another 1,600 high-ranking military officers were given dishonorable discharges.
Turkish authorities announced Wednesday the dismissal of more than 1,600 military personnel and the closure of over 100 media outlets, following a failed coup earlier this month.
Three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers, were ordered closed, AFP reported, citing a Turkish official confirming a government decree published in the official gazette.
The decree also saw 87 land army generals, 30 air force generals, and 32 admirals, dishonorably discharged over their involvement in the attempt to seize power on July 15, which left more than 200 people dead. About 1,000 officers and 400 junior officers were also dishonorably discharged.
If that many general officers were involved in the coup, it wouldn't have failed. Instead, President Erdogan is using the coup to replace officers who aren't entirely convinced he is the second coming of Mehmed VI – the last sultan of Turkey – with officers who are personally loyal to him.
As for the closing of opposition media, nothing else adequately demonstrates Erdogan's contempt for freedom and the rule of law. So in essence, there is now an authoritarian Islamist government occupying one of the most strategic places on Earth, vital to European security and economic health.
It couldn't get much worse.