The criticism against the Turkish government's attempts to eliminate opposition media has been an ongoing issue during the rule of the AKP government and increased in the recent past. Through decrees declared following the 15 July 2016 failed coup attempt, media outlets in connection with the Gulen organizations and the Kurdish media outlets were closed down.
The conglomerates seized by the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) for their debts, owned many print outlets and tv channels. Sabah, Takvim, Star dailies, Star TV, Kral TV, ATV, Cine-5 TV; later Akşam, Güneş gazeteleri dailies, Show TV, SkyTürk TV, Turkey's largest digital platform Digitürk, radios and magazines were under the control of TMSF.
During the 15-year rule of AKP, businessmen close to theg goverment sometimes entered tenders as sole entrants and later owned media outlets."
These businessmen were provided with USD 750 million by state banks, in order to buy these outlets. The parliamentary question regarding "if these funds had been paid back to the banks" has not been answered by the parliament based on the cliam that it was a "trade secret."
Trustees were appointed to Gulenist-affiliated media outlets and companies: Koza-Ipek Media Group, which owned Bugun and Millet dailies as well as Kanalturk TV and Bugun TV; Feza Media Group which owned Zaman, Today's Zaman and Meydan dailies, Cihan News Agency and Aksiyon magazine etc.
The trustees shut down Bugun and Millet dailies. Public Satellite Communications and Cable TV Operations Company Turksat has cancelled the broadcasts of Bugün TV, Kanaltürk TV, Samanyolu TV, S News TV, Mehtap TV, Irmak TV.
Ozgur Gundem daily was shut down by the government based on for allegedly conducting propaganda on behalf of the PKK and acting as the organization's media organ. The police raided the newsroom, taking 22 employees into custody. Ozgur Gundem's editor-in-chief and chief editor were arrested.
Post 15 July Coup Attempt/State of Emergency
Decrees numbered 668 (27.07.2016), 675 (29.10.2016), 677 (22.11.2016) declared under the state of emergency on 20 July 2016, following the coup attempt on 15 July 2016, brought the shutdowns of 5 news agencies, 23 radios, 62 newspapers, 19 magazines and 29 printing houses and distribution channels.
These organizations consisted of Gulenist-affiliated and Kurdish media.The decisions to shut down 17 newspapers, two radios, one TV and a total of 20 media organizations under decress 675 (29.10.2016) and 670 (17.08.2016) were cancelled.
It was stated in the decrees that the estates and assets of the shutdown companies would be transferred to the treasury, that the debt of these companies would not be paid for and that there would be no juidicial remedy for the shutdowns.
A total of 620 press credentials have been cancelled in the first two months of the state of emergency, as well as passports belonging to some journalists.