Row over press freedom in Turkey

ISTANBUL – A restriction of the freedom of press, or simply an effort to get big businesses to pay their taxes too? A tax fine of 700 million lira (325 million euros) for tax evasion by a big newspaper publisher, has sparked a debate about press freedom in Turkey.
Dogan Publishers is part of Dogan Holdings, one of Turkey’s biggest businesses, and publishes mass-circulation newspapers like Posta, Hürriyet and Milliyet. They are known for their opposition to Prime Minister Erdogan and his governing AKP party. Dogan claims that is why they were fined: Dogan newspapers have to be silenced. It would certainly not be the first time that an opposition newspaper was silenced by making them go bankrupt over a tax issue. On the other hand, it would also not be the first time that a big business got away with tax evasion over a period of years. The tax authorities say they have proof of wrongdoing.
Dogan newspapers are now publishing strident declarations defending the independent and free press. Prime Minister Erdogan is campaigning for the upcoming elections in March. He tells his public in similarly strident statements that the time has now come for not only the man in the street to pay his taxes, but the big guys too.
Dogan Publishers has thirty days to appeal against the fine.

2 replies
  1. Chris
    Chris says:

    The AKP must start to live in the 21st century; one way of doing so is getting Turkey into the EU very quickley. The the might and diplomatic force of the EU could ensure changes happen such as freedom of expression, free reporting etc etc. AKP is a dark force and one that the EU underestimates.
    Most people in Istanbul and Ankara and Izmir know this..however, there is large majority who are ignorant ad not educated who still vote AKP.
    Turkey must move forwards and the EU governments must actively help. Many economic measures of Turkey are better than Romania and Bulgaria, yet they are EU members already. here is much more at stake for EU/Turkey than some of our so called leaders in the EU think. The EU must get Turkey onboard as a member in 2010.


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  1. […] media is heating up again. Again? Yes, this is not the first fine, so not the first debate – read this short article I wrote about it […]

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