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Turkey bans reporting on consular staff kidnapped in Mosul

By Dustin M Braden- 17 Jun '14 09:54AM
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  • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
  • (Photo : wikimedia commons) In another sign of the limitations on freedom enacted by the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the press has been banned from reporting on the recent kidnapping of the entire consular staff based in Mosul, Iraq.

In another sign of the limitations on freedom enacted by the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the press has been banned from reporting on the recent kidnapping of the entire consular staff based in Mosul, Iraq.

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The ban on reporting also extends to the kidnapping of roughly 30 Turkish truck drivers who were also kidnapped by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as they seized control of Mosul in early June, according to Today's Zaman.

Zaman reports the decision was made by the Ankara 9th High Criminal court and announced by the Radio and Television Supreme Council.

The court ruling comes just one day after Erdogan publicly demanded that the opposition and press stop discussing the matter. In validating this demand, he said he worried that reporting on the kidnapping would, "provoke the process."

The truckers were kidnapped as they transferred oil from Turkey to a power station in Mosul. The consular staff were forced to surrender after initially resisting the ISIS invaders. Only after ISIS threatened to destroy the entire consular compound did the Turkish staff give themselves up.

The government has closed its consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi over fears that staff there may face the same fate, as much of Libya is lawless and controlled by various Islamist militias.

This is only the most recent example of the government trampling free expression in order to try and create a narrative beneficial to its own ends.

During the Gezi Park protests of 2013, CNN Turk and NTV ran a documentary about the life of penguins rather than live coverage of the protests popping up throughout the country. The penguin quickly became a symbol of the protests and protesters, spray painted on walls and adorning t-shirts.

Previously, the government has also banned Twitter and YouTube because they were used to share recordings that strongly suggested Erdogan was personally involved in massive corruption to the tune of hundreds of millions of Turkish lira. 

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