No hands raised to vouch for press freedom in Turkey
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan spoke after the CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu at the 71st general assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Ankara on May 2. AA photoAnkara's press freedom violations are known, but only few people could guess that not even one hand would be raised in an impromptu roll call in defence of the country's record at a meeting participated by the Turkish economy tsar and scores of businessmen who have in close relationship with the government.
"Our Constitution says that the press is free. Please, those who think that Turkey's press is free now, raise your hands," the Republican People's Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said during the 71st general assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Ankara on May 2.
While Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had already left the hall, hundreds of other people, including Davutoğlu's deputy Ali Babacan, chose to not raise their hands.
"Yes, no hands have been raised. The press is not free in Turkey," Kılıçdaroğlu concluded.
Babacan is a key figure responsible for the economy,
Turkey remained “not free” in terms of its press freedom, increasing its overall negative-trending score from 62 to 65 compared to the previous year, according to Freedom House’s “2015 Freedom of the Press” report.
“Conditions for media freedom in Turkey continued to deteriorate in 2014 after several years of decline,” read a part of the U.S.-based think tank’s report, released on April 28.
The report stated that the government had enacted new laws that expanded both the state’s power to block websites and the surveillance capability of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT).