Duvar English

Turkey shut down a total of 119 media outlets following the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt, Vice President Fuat Oktay said in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Muazzez Orhan.

Orhan on Jan. 10 submitted a question on the work conditions of media employees to mark Working Journalists’ Day, but the reply was given six month later.

A total of 53 newspapers, 20 magazines, 16 TV channels, 24 radio stations and six news agencies were shut down with state of emergency decrees following the attempted takeover.

Turkey declared a state of emergency that lasted for two years following the coup attempt, which was widely believed to have been masterminded by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen. Numerous emergency decrees were issued at the said period.

While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said that the decrees and the emergency rule aimed to clear state institutions of Gülenists, the period saw serious human rights abuses and efforts to silence critical voices.

According to Oktay, the media outlets were shut down over their suspected links to “terrorist organizations or groups that pose threats to national security.”

Orhan slammed Oktay for replying six months later, adding that the reply showed the government’s approach to press freedom.