On 10 February I wrote in my last blog that: “Next Tuesday I am travelling to Istanbul to see the curtain come down on one of the most farcical trials I have witnessed in my years as an observer at trials of journalists in Turkey.” Owing to an unscheduled trip to hospital in London and subsequent operation, I never made it to Turkey and the judicial farce continued when the newly appointed judge refused to dismiss the case as called for by the Istanbul prosecutor.
In my blog of 25 September ‘Defending journalism in Turkey’ I described the interview I gave with Ugur Güç, TGS president, on an evening news programme on IMC TV. We discussed the increasing number of prosecutions against journalists and during the interview presenter Banu Güven, mentioned that their television station had been threatened with closure. Within two weeks the station had been taken off air, their equipment seized and the journalists and other media and support workers joined the growing numbers of unemployed, reported on the EFJ web site at 2,500 – see http://europeanjournalists.org/blog/2016/10/24/turkey-107-journalists-in-prison-and-2500-others-left-unemployed/ of 24 October. Recently I received an eye witness account of the raid leading up to the closure of IMC TV which is reproduced below:
The failure of the coup launched by a faction of the military on 15 July has resulted in a massive purge by the Erdogan government, while the reckless military adventurism has weakened, possibly fatally, what was left of the country’s democratic framework. In addition it left more than 200 dead and over 1,500 injured, mostly civilians who went onto the streets to resist the coup.