Nuri Elibol, a veteran columnist and Ankara representative of pro-government Türkiye daily was fired from the paper following an article he wrote over a new possible coup to be attempted by the neo-nationalist military officers in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) within 1,5-2 years.
According to a report by TR724 online news portal, Nuri Elibol, who has always been known as a staunchly Erdoğanist columnist and a former military officer, had draw ire from both the government circles and neo-nationalist circles in Turkey over one of his articles published on July 26, 2017 with the tittle of “New coup can be attempted by neo-nationalists.”
Autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AKP goverment have collaborated with the neo-nationalist groups in the army and the Turkish deep state to target the alleged followers of the Gülen movement, critical bureaucrats, opposition in the society and oppressing the Kurds. Nuri Elibol has worked the staunchly pro-Erdoğan Türkiye daily for 17 years.
Meanwhile, it was reported by Cumhuriyet daily on Monday that pro-government Hürriyet daily has censored and silenced one of the most veteran columnist of the paper. Cumhuriyet columnist Orhan Bursalı wrote that only two articles of Mehmet Y. Yılmaz, who has regularly written columns for the paper 5 days in a week, were published in the Hürriyet daily in last 24 days.
According to Bursalı, Yılmaz went holiday on September 7 just following one of his articles that draw ire from government circles. He returned from holiday on September 24 and he has written only two articles since then. Doğan Media Group has left the claims unanswered over that it has been planned by Hürriyet daily’s administration to end his column. Bursalı has claimed that Yılmaz was silenced because of the fact that the veteran journalist was one of few critical columnists in Hurriyet daily.
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 280 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of September 30, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 255 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 134 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled.