A spokesperson for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) questioned whether Greece has press freedoms and condemned a Greek website for revealing Anadolu Agency journalists who arrived at Kastellorizo island were intelligence agents of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT).
“It is barbarism how the fascists are targeting Anadolu Agency staff in Greece,” Ömer Çelik, spokesman for the AKP, said on Twitter.
Earlier this week, Tevfik Durul and photojournalist Ayhan Mehmet flew from Athens to Rhodes and then connected to Kastellorizo island via a ferry.
Tourkika Nea published on Wednesday an article that revealed the agents and published the passport identity page of one of them.
“The Greek authorities need to make clear whether they are in favor of fascists or press freedom. The Greek authorities must find these fascists and do what is necessary,” Çelik added.
It is a hilarious claim for Çelik to question Greece’s press freedoms considering Turkey is one of the lowest ranked countries for media freedoms in the world, is the second most susceptible country surveyed on the European continent and its surrounds to fake news, has the most journalists jailed in the whole world, and 90% of media is government controlled.
Days ago, an entire Turkish television channel was shut down for 5 days, and will not reopen until Monday, because a guest on a show highlighted that Turkey is turning into a “theocratic regime.”
Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) ordered a five-day broadcast ban for opposition television station TELE1 because on the discussion programme Out of the Darkness into Light, guest Cemil Kılıç said, “It is now understood that today, there is an attempt to establish a theocratic regime in Turkey. A caliphate/sultan regime.”
Kılıç added that Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) is not a “part of the Muslim realm,” and that the faith of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not a “part of Islam either.”
Leader of the centre-right opposition Good Party, Meral Akşener, said in a tweet “the economy won’t recover when free press is silenced, the people’s woes won’t disappear when channels are closed.
Özgür basını susturunca ekonomi düzelmeyecek, kanalları kapatınca vatandaşın derdi geçmeyecek.
Susturmakla değil, kulak vermekle olur.
Sorunları saklamakla değil, çözüm üretmekle olur. #Tele1Susturulamaz
— Meral Akşener (@meral_aksener) September 2, 2020
Pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also said in a tweet that “The government is afraid of the power of the truth, in an attempt to prolong its life by suppressing opposition voices.”
İktidar hakikatin gücünden korkuyor, muhalif her sesi bastırarak, gerçekleri karartarak ömrünü uzatmaya çalışıyor. Tele1 ekranının karatılması özgür basına ve halkın haber alma özgürlüğüne saldırıdır. Özgür basın ve #Tele1Susturulamaz pic.twitter.com/EIfLiDxm6I
— HDP (@HDPgenelmerkezi) September 2, 2020
So while the AKP regime questions Greece’s press freedoms, in only recent days, Turkish opposition parties have called out press freedom’s in Turkey in response to a whole channel being shut for 5 days for merely criticizing the ruling government.
This also does not account for the 165 Turkish journalists that were imprisoned as of May 2020, according to the Stockholm Center for Freedom.