The Turkish Karar daily announced in its Monday edition that businesspeople and advertising agencies have been urged not to place ads in the newspaper, causing unsustainable financial problems.
“We would like to inform our readers in the hope that the embargoes and pressures we’ve been subjected to will soon end,” the statement said.
Turkish journalists on social media criticized Karar’s statement for failing to call it “government pressure on the media.”
The daily published its first issue on March 7, 2016. Most of its editorial board members and columnists had previously worked for pro-government news outlets. Many believe the birth of the daily was the outcome of a difference of opinion between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and former President Abdullah Gül along with former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Gül was considering a run against Erdoğan in the presidential election of June 24 after Davutoğlu resigned in May 2016.
Karar is known for its criticism of the government from a conservative point of view.
“The pressure on us clearly violates the Turkish Commercial Code and other laws regulating competition. This is an open threat to freedom of the press, which is one of the foundations of democracy,” the statement said.
Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 239 journalists and media workers were in jail as of October 31, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 170 were under arrest pending trial while only 69 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 148 journalists who are living 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 some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com)