Turkish Media Crackdown Prompts EP Concerns

Attacks on media freedom by the Turkish government are the subject of much concern within the European Parliament (EP), according to a document detailing members' concerns over crackdowns on journalists, especially those covering corruption issues.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan

According to an EP press release dated Jan. 15, members from all EP political groups have condemned recent aggressive state actions aimed at suppressing journalists.

These actions include the recent arrests of journalists covering the aftermath of a 2013 corruption probe which involved evidence against former ministers of the ruling AK Party. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called the corruption probe an attempted coup, and issued a gag order to prevent its coverage.

The perceived crackdown on free media in Turkey has drawn criticism from other quarters, too. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has characterized Erdogan's 2014 Twitter ban as one of “many concerns about media freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey.”Freedom House noted a significant decline in press liberty in Turkey in its 2014 media analysis.

According to EP members, Turkey is “moving away from the core EU values.”