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Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar fired from Sabah daily

[ 24 July 2013 02:23 ]



Baku-APATurkish veteran journalist Yavuz Baydar was fired from the Sabah daily where he had been working for a long time, after the editorial board of the newspaper imposed cencorship on his two columns over Gezi Park protests and media-government relationsç APA reports quoting Todays Zaman.

Baydar, who is also a columnist for the Today's Zaman daily, first faced cencorship when he vehemently critized government's handling of the Gezi protests.

On June 24, his critical column was not published. Baydar, the readers' editor at the Sabah daily, published readers' letters which critize the government for its stance on the Gezi Park protests which took place against redevelopmant plans of the park in İstanbul's Taksim.

When he sent a piece harshly critizing the government to be published, editors of the Sabah daily didn't publish it. Morever, Erdal Şafak, editor-in-chief of the Sabah daily, slammed Baydar for his stance regarding Gezi protests, in a published column.

Upon the cencorship and mounting pressure he faces, Baydar went on a vacation. He wrote a critical piece on New York Times, revealing the deepening ties between media owners and the government at the expense of freedom of expression and editorial freedom.

Baydar argued in his op-ed article on New York Times that Turkish media owners are clearly undermining the basic principles of democracy in the country in an apparent manner. The major reason, Baydar cites, is the fact that media bosses have fears of losing lucrative business deals with the government.

Illuminating on business ties with media owners and the Turkish government from a critical perspective, Baydar asserted that this kind of relationship has negative reflections on democracy and media.

When he returned from his vacation to Turkey, Baydar sent another piece to the Sabah daily to be published. This time he reportedly wrote on how relationship between editor-in-chief and the readers' editor should be formulated and on the significance of editorial freedom against possible external interventions.

He suggested that there should be no hierarchical relation between an editor-in-chief and a readers' editor, in an apparent reference to Şafak's open criticism and intervention in his column when the daily refused to publish his earlier piece.

Turkish media reported that the Sabah daily also declined to publish Baydar's latest piece.

The newspaper finally dismissed Baydar on Tuesday.

This constitues the latest incident in a series of firings of journalists in the Turkish media, bringing press and government relations into spotlight, casting  further doubts on the democratic credentials of the EU candidate.

According to a report appeared on Today's Zaman on Monday, at least 22 journalists have been fired during month-long Gezi protests.