Turkey shuts 15 media outlets over alleged terrorist links

More than 10,000 civil servants are also dismissed as total number of outlets closed since failed coup rises to more than 160

Turkish authorities have passed two more emergency decrees shutting down 15 media outlets, including one of the worlds only womens news agencies, over alleged links with terrorist organisations.

More than 10,000 civil servants were also dismissed over alleged links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Glen, whom the government blames for the bloody coup attempt of 15 July.

Emergency decree 675 ordered the shutdown of 10 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines, bringing the total number of media outlets closed since the failed military takeover to more than 160. Most of the media organisations that were closed late on Saturday had head offices in the predominantly Kurdish south-east.

The police came around 4am on Sunday morning and sealed the office, said Beritan Canzer, a journalist in Diyarbakr for Jinha, the news agency staffed entirely by women. We have not received a court order. There have not been any official justifications for this measure. Nobody explained anything to us.

Canzer, who was detained last December while reporting on a demonstration in Diyarbakr because police decided she looked too excited, underlined that the shutdown would not spell the end to Jinhas work. We will find other ways to inform the public, she said. We will continue to report They cannot silence us.

Rights groups have harshly criticised the recent crackdown on press freedom in Turkey.

According to independent media platform P24, 99 journalists have been formally arrested since the botched military intervention, turning Turkey once again into the worlds leading jailor of reporters. Thousands of journalists have lost their jobs. Hundreds of government-issued press accreditations have been cancelled, and an unknown number of journalists had their passports revoked, thus banning them from all foreign travel.

Almost 2,000 academics and teachers were also among those sacked via the emergency decrees, many of whom were members of the leftist teachers union Eitim-Sen.

A state of emergency, announced on 20 July, has recently been extended for another three months until January. The measure allows President Recep Tayyip Erdoan and the AKP cabinet to bypass parliament, rule via decree, and suspend rights and freedoms as they deem necessary.

According to state-run news agency Anadolu, more than 37,000 people were formally arrested. 100,000 more civil servants were fired or suspended during recent purges.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/30/turkey-shuts-media-outlets-terrorist-links-civil-servants-press-freedom

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