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OMVÄRLDEN PODCAST

Episode 31: He used to cover stories on migrants – now he is a migrant himself

Abdullah Bozkurt is the former Bureau-in-Chief for the turkisk newspapaer Today´s Zaman, in Ankara, Twho had to go into exile. Freedom of Speech in Turkey is under severe threat since the crackdown on media and the failed coup d'état in July 2016.

This podcast episode is in English.

In this podcast Ylva Bergman, editor in chief at OmVärlden, a Swedish digital magazine on global development issues, discusses what happened to Today´s Zaman newspaper and the media after the crackdown in Turkey together with senior journalist, Abdullah Bozkurt.

 

It was when Turkish media published stories on corruption in 2013 with links to government ministers, and their relatives, that the grip on media tightened, and the situation for journalist and publishers became increasingly bad.

In March 2016 the Turkish government seized the national newspaper Zaman, by taking over the Istanbul office and shortly afterwards published a government friendly version under the same logo. After the failed coup d'état in July 2016 the situation deteriorated.

By September, 120 journalists were in jailed, 130 media outlets had been shut down, and over 2000 journalists had lost their jobs. Teachers, judges and social workers have also been affected at a massive scale.

The newspaper Zaman has been affiliated with Gülen's movement, who were accused of being behind the corruption files in 2013, as well as the failed coup. Those allegations have been denied by Gülen adherents.

Abdullah Bozukrut realized his time as a journalist was up, when 42 journalist were arrested on a single day, after the failed coup.

–  That was the turning point, I think it was July 25th 2016. The government were rounding up dozens of journalist.

Ylva Bergman and Abdullah Bozkurt 

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