By Benjamin Harvey, Selcan Hacaoglu & Taylan Bilgic
Bloomberg News - Jun 6, 2013
As clouds of tear gas engulfed central Istanbul and anti-government
demonstrators fought with police, billionaire Aydin Dogan’s news channel
aired a documentary about penguins.
The scheduling made him and
other media bosses targets of demonstrators who have turned the
occupation of an Istanbul park into a challenge to Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan after a police crackdown began on May 31. They say the
coverage, or lack of it, of the biggest nationwide protests in years
reflects a media industry driven by the desire to stay on good terms
with Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party, or AKP.
“The judiciary, the police and the media are all on the side of the
AKP,” Seda Terkoglu, a 19-year-old high school student, said during a
rally in Istanbul on June 2. “The mainstream media is only promoting the
The protests, initially over the redevelopment of Taksim
Square in Istanbul, spread to more than 60 cities. Demonstrators called
for Erdogan, Turkey’s
most popular politician in decades and a three-time election winner, to
step down. They included the erosion of press freedom among their
grievances, as well as what they called the government’s authoritarian
approach and Islamis.
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