(Washington, D.C.) — The Turkish Democracy Project is announcing a new initiative, the Free Turkish Press, to provide a platform for independent journalism ahead of Turkey’s upcoming presidential elections. Turkey’s independent media outlets have been banned, silenced, or purchased by pro-government corporations, and so TDP has launched the Free Turkish Press to meet an urgent need.
Commenting on the launch of the Free Turkish Press, TDP CEO Ambassador Mark D. Wallace said:
“Right now, independent journalism is under threat in Turkey. Turkey is a leading jailer of journalists and its censorship laws are used to silence government criticism and opposition leaders. All this while Turkey’s most important election in decades approaches in May.
There can be no free elections without a free press. It’s time to provide an international platform for writers and journalists who can’t speak freely.”
Censorship in Turkey has increased following February’s earthquakes, and as the government gets ready for reelection. After the earthquakes, the government shut down Twitter in the early days (crucial for rescue efforts), fined three news networks that criticized the government, and fined and detained several citizens who had tweeted about the government’s botched response. President Erdogan also made a threatening speech promising retribution for those who had spoken out.
The Free Turkish Press will cover Turkish politics, human rights issues, foreign policy, and culture. FTP’s editors have over forty years’ experience defending Turkish journalism, and will bring their network of experienced journalists and analysts to FTP’s online platform for opinion, analysis, interviews, and a new podcast and interview series, Turkey Today.
To read the Free Turkish Press, click here.