As Turkey’s Protests Continue, Attention Falls on Failures of Turkish Media

Posted: June 7, 2013 in News


As epic clashes between antigovernment protesters and riot police turned downtown Istanbul into a battle zone last weekend, the country’s two main news channels had, well, not much to report. One ran a documentary on penguins. The other, a cooking show. To many Turks, their silence was symptomatic of the self-censorship Turkey’s media have practiced under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s tightfisted 10-year rule. Penguin T-shirts, penguin jokes and penguin costumes now abound — the bird has become a symbol of protesters’ frustration with the mainstream media.

“Our audience feels like they were betrayed,” said NTV chief executive Cem Aydin on Tuesday after a meeting with staff, some of whom resigned in protest at the lack of coverage. Criticism of the channel was “fair to a large extent,” he said. Protests are now in their 10th day. They initially began over plans to raze a park in central…

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