— Turkish Minute (@TurkishMinuteTM) January 20, 2017
MPs pass elements of controversial bill that grants broad powers to country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Owen Jones accurately describes the circumstances in Turkey (What I saw in Turkey is an assault on democracy itself, 18 January). However, the development of challenges to democratic principles in Turkey predates Trump. These have intensified since the AKP government lost its parliamentary majority in the June 2015 general election. The most valuable part of any democratic governance, namely public contestation of political authority through free speech, right to public demonstrations, freedom of expression and press, have gradually eroded under various government measures initiated under the claims to security. These have accelerated since the attempted coup in July 2016. A series of legal cases against public intellectuals, academics and journalists has severely curtailed practice of these freedoms. Continued charges against these people and their imprisonment are leading to self-censorship.