Quoted in Al-Monitor: “Journalists in Turkey see media domain narrowing as elections approach

Journalists shout slogans and hold placards on Jan. 10, 2016, during a march marking Journalism Day on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul, as they protest the imprisonment of journalists. Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontieres) has ranked Turkey 149th out of 180 in its 2015 press freedom index in October, warning of a “dangerous surge in censorship.” – OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Journalists in Turkey see media domain narrowing as elections approach

Media workers under pressure mark Working Journalists Day and fear further clampdown on independent journalism.
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Erkan Saka, head of media at Istanbul Bilgi University, characterized RTUK and BIK as targeting media outlets critical of the government.

“If you look at the punishments or fines RTUK made last year, they’re mostly opposition or anti-government media outlets,” he said. “There’s no proportionality.”

Saka added, “BIK is very significant for small outlets like Evrensel (a newspaper) or local dailies and news outlets. The public notices it allocates are a major source of income for small outlets.

“Now this money is mostly channeled to pro-government outlets, which is a restructuring of local media. Apart from a few cities, there is no local media that can really finance itself without public funds, so in this sense BIK is a very powerful tool.”

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