Today, news broke that Turkey’s government destroyed one of its citizens’ most fundamental rights. The country is added to a growing list of unchecked dictatorships around the world.
If we don’t defend our freedoms, they will be taken away. Each generation must stand up for their God-given rights. Governments across the globe daily seek to erode our basic freedoms. Be it freedom of speech, freedom of religion, or the right to bear arms — powerful people want them gone.
For years, people have worried about Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has ruled since 2003, term limits be damned. Over the years, he continued to amass more and more power. It’s clear from his actions, inside Turkey and abroad, that he sees himself as a dictator. His involvement in the Syrian civil war proves his intentions of expanding Turkey’s power around the world.
Much like other dictators, Erdogan is cracking down on his citizens’ liberties. Years ago, he went after people who exercised their free speech to criticize him. That has continued, unchecked. Over the years, he’s been slowly destroying another fundamental right. With the purchase of the last independent news source, a free press is dead in Turkey.
Turkey is joining the ranks of China, Russia, Iran, Cambodia, Egypt, Burundi, Cameroon, and others in criminalizing the reporting of news that criticizes the government, and jailing reporters who do so.
On Thursday, an ally of Turkey’s government began the acquisition the last major independent media company, Dogan Holding, which owns well-known publications including Hurriyet and CNN Turk.
Aydin Dogan, the 81-year-old billionaire who founded Dogan Holding in 1979, announced the sale of all the media assets to Demirören Group, a media group with a close relationship with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Dogan has had a difficult relationship with Erdogan’s AK Party since the party came to power in 2002. The holding faced a record $2.5 billion in tax fines in 2009, which Dogan claimed were politically motivated. The fines forced Dogan to sell some assets to Demirören in 2011. [Source: Breitbart]
With the sale of Dogan Holding, Turkey no longer has a media that operates outside the government’s control. Demirören Group, while on paper a private company, is an ally to Erdogan. There is little chance this monopoly will publish reports that criticize his government or challenge his authority.
This is a great concern for people around the world. In this day and age, we strive to see more freedom and liberty given to the people. Instead, we are discovering more and more countries going the way of totalitarianism. Governments in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East are turning into dictatorships, where the people’s freedoms are all but non-existent.
News from Turkey comes just after YouTuber “Count Dankula” was convicted in a U.K. court over an offensive joke. The concept of free speech is officially dead in England. The free press is dead in Turkey. How many more freedoms will European nations erase?
President Erdogan has become more controlling over the years. Some even think he’s trying to install Sharia-inspired laws over the Muslim-majority country. Turkey, which has enjoyed Western liberties for generations, might backslide into the dark ages of oppression and misery.
Erdogan has no problem flexing his authority over anyone who dares oppose him. So much for democracy or free journalism.
Ever since Turkey faced a botched coup attempt in June 2016, Erdogan has used the coup attempt to become increasingly dictatorial and authoritarian at every opportunity. Dozens of journalists have been jailed on phony charges since the coup attempt, but Erdogan started his purge well before the coup attempt, as shown by the actions against Dogan since 2003…
There is almost no independent press remaining in Turkey. Cumhuriyet, a mainstream opposition newspaper much smaller than Dogan’s properties, has had a dozen of its employees imprisoned on phony charges, although many have been released after a year in prison for lack of evidence. [Source: Breitbart]
This is a shocking and disgusting trend. We may not like or agree with many journalists in the United States. But jailing someone for reporting the news is a hideous crime. Only the worst dictators commit such atrocities. It is a calculated step in silencing dissent, a way that tyrants control the flow of information into and from their countries.
In 2018, this is happening far too often around the world. Governments once labeled as “liberal” and Western are turning into dictatorial regimes. It is happening rapidly across Europe, with little signs of opposition.
How long before it spreads to the U.S.? On a regular basis, liberals compare us to Europe. They constantly complain that we are not exactly like that dysfunctional and toxic Continent. It won’t take very long for the most extreme groups on the left to demand the same kind of actions towards journalists they don’t like. Oh wait, they’re already doing that.