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Coup: Turkish Government Announces Closure of 131 Media Organizations  

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The massive purge by Turkish authorities owing to the attempted failed coup a fortnight ago has not abated, as the government has just announced the closure of 131 media organizations.

The affected were three news agencies; 16 TV channels; 23 radio stations; 45 newspapers; 15 magazines and 29 publishers.

One of the titles Zaman, was once one of the Turkey’s biggest newspapers, which came under State’s control in March this year. The authorities have since issued arrest warrants on 47 staffers.

Ownership of many of the shut media outlets have been linked to the US-based Turkish cleric Fetullah Gulen He was alleged to have bankrolled the attempted failed coup, which was staged late Friday, July 15, 2016.

The closure of the media outlets and the suspected soldiers’ dismissal were announced in Turkish’s official Resmi Gazete.

While most of the houses are relatively small provincial outlets, some with a national audience have also been targeted.

It has been confirmed that majority of Zaman’s readers are Gulen’s supporters, hence, drop in its readership after the state takeover in March, leaving its profit profile to slide.

In addition to the warrants issued on the 47 Zaman staff, authorities had also sought the arrest of 42 other journalists earlier in the week.

Turkey in ranking was relegated to 15st position in the press-freedom index of Reporters without Borders, a media watchdog.

It would be recalled that Turkish authorities separately, announced Wednesday that nearly 1,700 members of the armed forces, including 149 generals and admirals had been discharged.

No fewer than 246 people died during the coup, while over 2,000 people were injured.

In the meantime, President Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to purge state bodies of the “virus” behind the revolt.

Just last week, Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency, allowing the Mr. President and the government to bypass parliament when drafting new laws as well as to restrict or suspend rights and freedoms.


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