Is the Press Really Free? The Recent Conflict between the Government and Media in Turkey

By Banu Baybars Hawks.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The history of the relationship between the press and the government dates back to the period of Ottoman Empire but became significantly strained after the foundation of the Turkish Republic. A historical and political economic analysis shows that successive governments in Turkey have found new methods to censor the media as the country’s democracy moves towards consolidation. Since 2000, a familiar pressure has been brought to bear on the Turkish media from the conservative majority AKP government, which has used legal, economic and political-discursive means to control the flow of information, thereby favoring a neo-conservative, controlled and censored view of news media. This paper takes the recent cases of censorship by the Turkish government on the media as examples to argue governments in Turkey invented new methods of suppressing the press in this more liberal economic and political environment. To that end the method of inquiry includes a certain degree of historical analysis on the change in the political economy of the news media and discourse analysis of the most recent encounters between the media and the government.

Keywords: Turkish Media, Government, Gatekeeping, Priming, Political Communication, Censorship, Convergence, Conglomerates, Concentration, Political Economy

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 11, pp.75-90. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 692.680KB).

Dr. Banu Baybars Hawks

Associate Professor and Chair of Public Relations Department, Communication Faculty, Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey

Banu Baybars Hawks, (Ph.D. University of Tennnessee, Knoxville, School of Communications, 2002) is an Associate Professor and Chair of Public Relations Department at the Faculty of Communications at Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey. Dr. Baybars Hawks’ research interests include media studies, media law, politics and terrorism.

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