A new journal article entitled ‘From repression to oppression: news journalism in Turkey 2013–2018’ authored by Stefanie Pukallus (CFOM), Lisa Bradley (CFOM), Sarah Clarke (Article 19, UK) and Jackie Harrison (CFOM) has been published in the journal Media, Culture and Society.
The political context for practicing free and independent journalism has always been challenging in Turkey and ever more so after the failed coup d’état of 2016. This article examines and analyzes the changes brought about by this failed coup d’état in terms of their civil, legal, and political significance for news journalism and news journalists. More specifically and based on two sets of semi-structured interviews with Turkish editors and senior journalists supported by an analysis of gray literature, we argue that between 2013 and 2018 Turkey has moved from a pre-coup repression of news journalism (2013–2016) to a post-coup oppression of news journalism (2016–2018). The former was characterized by unsystematic attacks on news journalism conducted with impunity leading to a climate of fear that made self-censorship inescapable. In contrast, the latter relied on constitutional changes and the use of law to systematically compromise the civil institution of news journalism and to cast news journalists as political enemies of the Turkish state resulting in what can be likened to a loss of their citizenship. We further argue that the development from the repression to oppression of news journalism has been ‘authorized’ and ‘legalized’ by the constitutional changes that came into force on 9 July 2018.