Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Turkish Government Muzzles Media Critics

The Turkish government has just imposed a €1.7 billion fine on the country's largest independent media conglomerate, the Dogan group. The amount is almost equivalent to the entire value of the company. A few weeks ago a fine of €350 million was imposed on the same group. Together the two fines imperil the very existence of the company.

Newspapers belonging to the group had been fierce critics of the Turkish government. Tensions between the ruling AKP party and the media organisation at one point reached such a pitch that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on his supporters to boycott Dogan group publications.

The Turkish government is clearly using the law as an instrument of oppression against its critics, much as Putin does in Russia. Is this civilised behaviour? Is this what we expect of a European country? No! Turkey yet again demonstrates that it is unfit to be a member of the European Union.

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