Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Turkey Seizes Independent Cihan News Agency

Turkey Seizes Independent Cihan News Agency

by Stephen Lendman

Press freedom in Turkey is pure fantasy. Media operations critical of state policies risk regime takeover. 

Independent journalists reporting information authorities want suppressed risk arrest, prosecution, imprisonment or assassination.

Last Friday’s takeover of Zaman and its English language Today’s Zaman edition was a serious blow to press freedom. World community and Western media reaction was deplorably mute.

Scant coverage followed Erdogan’s latest outrage. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal ignored his takeover of independent Cihan news agency. 

The Washington Post ran a brief AP story explaining little. Erdogan and prime minister Amhet Davutoglu are welcome guests in Western capitals, their high crimes entirely ignored.

Istanbul-based Cihan was Turkey’s only independent news agency, part of Feza Publications, owner of Zaman until regime takeover.

It provides news services to most Turkish broadsheets and television operations, as well as over 100 foreign media sources. Its correspondents report from worldwide locations, including war theaters.

It’s now a regime mouthpiece, state-sponsored propaganda substituting for real news and information. Erdogan wants all dissent silenced.

Cihan said an Istanbul court will designate an administrator to manage the agency following its regime takeover.

Interviewed by RT International, Cihan reporter Ibrahim Varlik said the media operation was the only private Turkish news agency, monitoring elections since 2005.

He called it “very important not only in terms of showing the results, but also preventing possible (electoral) fraud… protecting the people’s rights and democracy.” 

“(F)rom now on, only state agenc(ies) can monitor the elections.” If fraud occurs, nothing will be reported.

Washington considers Turkey a valued ally. Both nations partner in high regional crimes, notably on Obama’s war on Syria. 

Brussels negotiated a deal in principle to use Turkey as a refugee dumping ground, wanting the human flood to EU nations curtailed, ignoring the fundamental human rights of desperate people and international law - details being finalized.

Turkey is a fascist police state, Erdogan a megalomaniacal lunatic, a major threat to regional peace and security. Criticizing him is a criminal offense.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.