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The witch hunt continues in so-called democratic Turkey

Whilst the EU and the USA have courted Turkey as an ally - for many reasons, not least the use of military bases in the country and the strategic geographic position of Turkey in the Middle East - its President has shown little regard for democratic principles.

With the recent coup, the crackdown on any dissenters, and others, by Erdogan has gathered momentum.    The latest target, and not for the first time, has been journalists. The International New York Times reports.....

"One journalist, who was on vacation, had his home raided in the early morning by the police. Others were called in to their bosses’ offices last week and fired, with little explanation. Dozens of reporters have had their press credentials revoked.

A pro-government newspaper, meanwhile, published a list of names and photographs of journalists suspected of treachery.

The witch-hunt environment that has enveloped Turkey in the wake of a failed military coup extended to the news media on Monday, as the government issued warrants for the detention of dozens of journalists.

The step followed the dismissals of tens of thousands of workers — teachers, bankers, police officers, soldiers, bureaucrats and others — as well as the arrests of thousands accused of ties to the conspiracy.

The government said the journalists, too, were part of a vast network linked to Fethullah Gulen, a Muslim cleric in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania who it has alleged was the mastermind of the botched coup.

A senior Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in keeping with government protocol, said the dismissal of the journalists was not related to their professional activities, but to possible criminal conduct.

But it has been a common reflex of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to crack down on freedom of expression during times of crisis.

Many dozens of journalists have lost their jobs during his tenure. Others have been arrested over their coverage of national security issues. Still others have been charged with insulting the president, a crime in Turkey."

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