Hands off the Cypriot Media Mr. Erdogan!

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neo-ottomanism

No matter where you stand on the Cyprus problem, in this country you have the right to express your opinion in writing and that is why we have a pluralistic media scene here. Turkey does not because Erdogan shut down all the independent media or those media which did not lay down like a carpet to his enormous ego. Now Mr. Erdogan has started working on the Turkish-Cypriot media as a soft-and-easy target, and it is time he got his hands off the press here.

I’m talking about the incident with Afrika newspaper run by the Turkish-Cypriot editor Sener Levent in the Turkish-held north of the island. Erdogan deliberately targeted the newspaper with negative comments about the headline comparing Turkey’s attack on Afrin with its invasion of Cyprus in 1974. Erdogan deliberately abused his power by triggering the lunatic fringe into attacking Afrika’s office and Sener Levent on January 22nd. Even Turkish-Cypriot leader Akinci was threatened by the extremists. The incidents reached the international media, including the Washington Post.

Hands off the Cypriot media, Mr. Erdogan! You are not a saviour, you are an invader. You are not a real president, you are a dictator hiding behind your lip service to democracy. Using excessive political pressure to squeeze those who oppose you and crushing the media to keep the Turkish people fooled by your self-glorifying propaganda.

Article 19 of the Cyprus Constitution enshrines the human and legal right to freedom of expression. The right you trampled on when you shut down Zaman, the right you abused when you made Huriyet self censor out of fear of being persecuted. We don’t expect you to understand or respect the media, your behaviour has shown that this is an impossible expectation. We do expect you to stay the hell away from the Cypriot media.

This publication supports the right of every media voice to freedom of expression, including Sener Levent’s.

No to repression of the media in any shape or form. No to Turkey’s invasion and occupation of Cyprus.

No to Mr. Erdogan and his repressive ways.