Turkey shuts down influential pro-Kurdish newspaper | News | DW | 16.08.2016
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Turkey shuts down influential pro-Kurdish newspaper

A court in Turkey has ordered the closure of "Ozgur Gundem," known for its pro-Kurdish views. The decision comes amid a growing crackdown on dissent as the country reels from an attempted coup in July.

The court announced its decision on Tuesday, claiming the newspaper was a source of propaganda for the country's Kurdish separatist movement.

"Ozgur Gundem," a newspaper with a print circulation of around 7,500, focuses much of its reporting on the actions of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a militant group fighting in the southern part of Turkey.

In court documents obtained by Reuters news agency, officials accused the newspaper of acting as the PKK's "de facto news outlet."

Türkei Istanbul Journalist Can Dundar bei kurdischer Zeitung Ozgur Gundem

Journalist Can Dundar at the Office of "Ozgur Gundem"

Media crackdown

"Ozgur Gundem" has been subject to government investigations in the past, as well as fines and the arrest of its correspondents in 2014.

The move comes amid a sweeping media crackdown in the country following the attempted coup on July 15. Since declaring a state of emergency in the wake of the coup attempt, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has overseen the closure of more than 130 media outlets. Critics of the government have accused the presidency of using the coup as an excuse to squash dissent.

The court ruling also comes shortly after the editor-in-chief of the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dundar, said he was stepping down. Dundar said he had little trust in the judiciary now that the state of emergency had suspended constitutional protections.

blc/rc (Reuters, dpa)

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