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Turkey media crackdown sees 131 outlets shut down

16 TV stations, 45 Newspapers, 15 magazines, 29 publishers shut in post-coup purge, sparking concern for press freedom.

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Turkey media crackdown sees 131 outlets shut down

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It began as a purge of the security forces and judiciary and has now spread to business, finance and the media in Turkey.

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"It is unacceptable that so many people are under probe"

Ugur Ayatc Chair of the Istanbul branch of Turkey Journalists' Union

Ankara has already suspended 60,000 soldiers, judges and teachers suspected of ties to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom they blame for the failed coup. Adding to that number, it shut another 131 media outlets sparking concern for press freedom.

On Wednesday, 47 journalists were detained from the now defunct opposition newspaper Zaman, linked to Gulen.

“It is unacceptable that so many people are under probe,” explained the chair of the Istanbul branch of Turkey’s Journalists’ Union Ugur Ayatc continuing, “these decisions have been taken without any criteria and these people are being punished because they were working for the newspaper of Gulen.”

The size and scope of the crackdown as well as talk of bringing back the death penalty has Western allies concerned. They fear that President Erdogan may be using the post-coup purge to rid himself of opponents and tighten his grip on power.

Turkey has rejected claims that the crackdown is too heavy-handed.