Get Some of the News, Not All
The lack of total press freedom in Turkey is one
of the main reasons that the general circulation of print publications
is a mere 3 million in a country whose population is 65 million.
is a wide variety of media outlets in the country: some 30 national
dailies (nearly 15 mainstream), five national weeklies, 25 local
papers in the Turkish language, and two English-language national
dailies. There are also about 18 national radio stations, hundreds
of local radio stations, nearly 25 national TV channels, and 20
local TV channels.
quite a dilemma. Turkey has a lively press and there is no overt
censorship, but it remains a difficult environment for independent
journalism. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 14
journalists were imprisoned in Turkey at the end of 2000 and many
journalists ended up in court for prosecutions stemming from their
environment is also difficult for radio and television journalism.
The Radio and Television Higher Board has the power to close radio
and TV broadcasts temporarily or sometimes permanently. So, in a
country where the minumum wage is around US$160 a month, the annual
national per-capita income is only $2,500, and the average price
of a daily is 25 cents, radio and television stations in Turkey
the primary source of information are currently in jeopardy because
of RTUK practices.
in the southeast region, the majority of the population is Kurdish,
broadcasts in the Kurdish language are illegal and distribution
of pro-Kurdish or leftist publications is banned. Although reform
of these repressive policies is widely viewed here as a necessary
precondition for Turkeys accession to the European Union,
the far-right National Movement Party, a member of the current governing
coalition, remains strongly opposed to Kurdish-language radio and
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