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The New Challenges of the Freedom of Press in Turkey

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

The New Challenges of the Freedom of Press in Turkey

The new challenges of the freedom of press in Turkey are a major despotic approach, not just against journalists, but also to people. Thus, to discuss how this development is exposed in the media, Turkish Cultural Center New York held a discussion with Ms. Sevgi Akarcesme, columnist and editor at Zaman, Turkey’s largest newspaper.


On January 23, 2015 Ms. Akarcesme described how Turkey is going through one of its major alterations throughout its history. A country that has been long admired as an inspiration of democracy in the Muslim world is now beginning to follow autocratic regime. A corruption scandal has shocked the nation, which caused the administration to shut down the Internet, YouTube and Twitter, testing the limits of this civil society. These changes do not only affect the people living in Turkey, but also other Turkish citizens living abroad.


As a result of these unfortunate incidents in Turkey, one of the key goals of the AKP party is now to manage the entire media agencies in the nation by silencing the media. Ms. Akarcesme mainly explained the significance of freedom of expression and how it is a crucial module of democracy, because it is media that mainly exercises this right on behalf and in favor of the people. Therefore, Ms. Akarcesme stated her thoughts about how this affects Turkey’s foreign policy, especially towards the United States and the Middle East. In addition, it seems impossible for Turkey to sustain its democratic leadership in the Middle East if the administration continues to ignore its universal values.

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