ON WEDNESDAY MORNING, Turkish riot police stormed the offices of Koza Ipek Holding, a media group in Istanbul housing the Bugun TV channel and the Bugunand Millet newspapers.
“Dear viewers,” a Bugun TV anchor casually announced during the early morning broadcast, “do not be surprised if you see police in our studio in the upcoming minutes.” Outside, police were leading journalists away in handcuffs, while citizens — many of them journalists who worked in the building — protested the dawn raid as police attempted to disperse the growing crowd with tear gas and water cannons.
Richard Howitt is a Labour MEP for the East of England. He is the Socialists & Democrats group spokesperson on foreign affairs in the European Parliament and a member of the EU-Turkey Joint parliamentary committee.
The EHCR has upheld the right of the Turkish politician Dogu Perincek to deny the Armenian genocide. It’s a bad decision with dangerous implications.
On 15 October 2015, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made a controversial ruling: Switzerland had violated Dogu Perincek’s right to freedom of speech. Perincek is a Turkish politician who made a series of provocative speeches in Switzerland saying there was “no Armenian genocide”; this historical event in the Ottoman empire in 1915 and after was an “imperialist lie”. Swiss courts condemned him under anti-racist laws. In its decision, the ECHR considered that the Swiss courts had “censured (Perincek) for having simply expressed an opinion divergent from those in Switzerland.”
“Human rights and the rule of law in Turkey are at the worst level I’ve seen in the 12 years I’ve worked on Turkey’s human rights.”
The ‘deep state’ meets Erdoğan’s ‘New Turkey’. The country’s resulting predicament is much more dangerous than two decades ago.