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President Erdogan Takes One More Step Towards Consolidating Absolute Power

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Published on: March 5, 2016

The Turkish Menace strikes again.

Today’s Zaman is one of the largest and most respected newspapers in Turkey. It is also one of the most objective in that it tries to present multiple sides to important issues in Turkish society, which is a rare characteristic of a media outlet in the ideologically charged, unstable world of Middle Eastern politics. That same objectivity has also made it a target of Turkish President Erdogan’s anger, since he wants to become a new Sultan and will not allow any criticism of himself or his policies.

In an unprecedented move in modern Turkish history, Turkish police stormed the Today’s Zaman headquarters and seized control over the newspaper. Many people turned out to protest, only to be attacked by water cannons and armed police in full riot gear, ready for combat.

Erdogan’s wrath has been unleashed yet again, as he takes one more step towards his goal of reviving a dream that a powerful Muslim warlord named ‘Uthman had in the year 1291- the rebirth of the greatest Islamic Empire in history, once known as the Ottoman Empire.

From Today’s Zaman and Russia Today:

Noting the seizure of a media organization by the government would be against the Constitution, Ülgen said, adding that a media organization can only be punished if it commits a crime.

“It is a violation of the rule of law to close it [media organization] down, to change its management by appointing trustees, to turn it into a pro-government outlet following seizure, and then dismiss the journalists shortly after,” Ülgen added.

Ülgen added that those who supported the seizure may one day find themselves faced with the same situation as the rule of law will have been eliminated.

“There is no limit to cracking down on critical media,” he said.

Günal Kurşun, a professor of criminal law and the president of the Association for Human Rights Agenda, has blasted the potential seizure of Zaman Media Group saying: “This is the end of the rule of law; democracy is in ruins… My poor Turkey..”

Also from Today’s Zaman:

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Murat Emir spoke on Friday morning when the takeover of Zaman was still a rumor circulating on social media. Emir said that he saw the move as the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) trying to silence free and independent media.

Expressing that the media in Turkey faces new attacks every day, Emir said that the majority of these assaults were being done under the guise of the law. “We [CHP] condemn all attempts to subdue the free media. We are against all attacks [against the media] and believe these attacks must come to an end.”

Speaking to Zaman daily on Friday morning, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Ümit Özdağ, who recently resigned from his position as deputy chairman of the MHP said he cannot believe the government is going to take over the Zaman daily and its subsidiaries.

Küçük also said, “according to information he obtained,” Feza Media Group, which also includes Today’s Zaman, will be seized by the government. He argued that trustees will be appointed to the group soon.

Also on Thursday, Twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni claimed that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who “has no tolerance for any media group that would criticize his plans for a presidential switch,” ordered the seizure of Zaman daily, the main newspaper under the Feza Media Group.”

“He told off those who told him that there is no legal infrastructure to seize Zaman,” Avni claimed.

“He is taking the revenge for the Constitutional Court’s decision favoring the release of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül. The order [to seize Zaman] has been sent to [his] men at the judiciary,” he further claimed.

Article reposted with permission from

*Article by Andrew Bieszad

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