Many measures that are blatantly in conflict with that very aim.
One of the most egregious of his emergency measures is the closing of 131 media outlets across the country, including 45 newspapers, 15 magazines, 23 radio stations and 16 TV channels. All have been shuttered on flimsy charges of supporting the coup, encouraging terrorism, or both.
A total of 89 journalists have been arrested or had arrest warrants issued as well.
In many cases, the targeted publications and broadcasters are associated (or allegedly associated) with Fethullah Gülen, a Muslim cleric and erstwhile ally of Erdogan who now lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan has accuses him of orchestrating the coup.
Gülen has denied these charges and condemned the coup attempt. Virtually no media outlet in Turkey ever voiced support for the abortive military takeover. Even Erdogan’s staunchest opponents pilloried the attempt to overthrow a democratically elected leader. But this isn’t stopping Erdogan, who appears bent on using the crisis to continue his longstanding campaign to silence dissent by various means.
It’s worth noting that Turkish regulators and law-enforcement officials were already closing newspapers and jailing journalists well before the coup, undoubtedly at Erdogan’s order.
Back in March, police seized control of the country’s largest newspaper, Zaman, while unleashing water cannons and tear gas against protesters gathered outside in an attempt to stop the takeover. The government subsequently shut it down.
Last fall, Turkish police raided the offices of a major Turkish conglomerate with media properties, Koza pek Holding, including the newspaper Sözcü, whose columnists all submitted empty op-eds to protest the raid in the newspaper’s print edition.
Turkish security forces have also arrested a number of foreign journalists who were covering anti-government protests on trumped-up charges of abetting terrorism. While the foreign journalists have been released, some of their local handlers remain in custody.