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    The Thick Wall Around the Prime Minister

    Tufan Turenc
    30.03.2005 - 13:52 | Son Güncelleme:

    Responding to the call of the Council of Press, March 15th saw an Istanbul gathering of 51 journalists representing national newspapers and television stations. The subject was the New Turkish Penal Code, and how it will affect the press.

    The general feeling after much argument at the meeting was that under the new law, freedom of the press will be much restricted. Because, all details aside, any law which fills the prisons with journalists is at its base not democratic. For such a law to be made in Turkey, which is trying so hard to enter the European Union, reveals the anti-democratic tendencies of the government. In a fight to amend the law, a "Media Study Group" has been formed. The same day, an appointment was made with Prime Minister Erdogan to air grievances. But until now there has been no reply as to whether this appointment will be held.
     
    It has been 14 days now since making this appointment. When you read this it will be the 15th day. Oktay Eksi spoke for all of us in the press when he said the other day "We react to the Prime Minister's non action on this question with sorrow and regret. We do not agree with his sense of manners and style on this issue." As journalists, it is inconceivable to us that Erdogan could attach so little importance to our profession.
     
    The journalists at the press meeting on March 15th had seen many prime ministers come and go. But this is the first time they have confronted such behavior from a prime minister. Prime Minister Erdogan has constructed a thick and high wall around himself. He is willing to form a dialogue with neither those who compliment nor those who criticize him. The strange thing is, that wall is not just for journalists-it is for anyone who doesn't agree with him. Even certain members of parliament from his own party....
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