Local newspaper closed down in Bolu
DHA PhotoThe municipality’s decision to shut down two local newspapers in the western province of Bolu, on the grounds that they lacked working licenses, has been met by opposition from many in the city.
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Bolu deputy Tanju Özcan claimed that two local newspapers, Bolu Havadis and Bolu Gündem, were closed down for criticizing Bolu Mayor Alaaddin Yılmaz, who is from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), according to daily Hürriyet.
“A dictator’s helper aims to have a fascist system by taking the power from the prime minister’s decision to block Twiter,” said Özcan at a protest rally in Bolu on March 26. Many people marched to the newspapers’ buildings in protest at the decision to close down the local dailies.
The Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC) condemned the decision March 27, saying it does not comply with the Turkish Constitution.
“The pressuring of the local media, which is an integral part of journalism, and attempting to silence the media with opposition views is not in line with democracy,” said the TGC in a written statement.
The editor-in-chief of Bolu Gündem newspaper, Süha Alparslan, said their newspaper had been running in the city for 26 years.
“We have moved to a new building. You have to renew your licenses when you move. First the municipal police came. Then Deputy Mayor İhsan Ağcan, who was supposed to give us a license, was jailed for seven months for corruption in tenders. He was released from prison, but the process to give the license to us was delayed. They even demanded an environmental report, as if we are a factory,” said Alparslan.