Apr 01 2018

Turkey's only Kurdish newspaper forced to end print edition

Turkey's single remaining Kurdish-language newspaper is closing its print edition and moving all of its content online.

The decision by Rojnameya Welat, comes in the aftermath of police raids to the offices of the pro-Kurdish Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi newspaper and its Gun Printing House on March 28.  

Government appointed trustees who have taken over the Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi and its printing house -  also used by Rojnameya Welat - have refused to print the new edition of the Kurdish daily, Welat's staff say.

Welat staff have indicated that another printing house in Adana has refused to continue printing the paper, with no further explanation provided.

Director of the newspaper, Zeynel Abidin Bulut, noted, "Our newspaper isn't printed due to fear: 'It's beyond us,' said everyone we talked to; the owner of the printing house said they faced threats and didn't print our newspaper.’’

Intensified crackdowns by the Turkish government on media since the 2016 coup attempt, continue to be criticized as an excuse to do away with any voice of opposition.

The recent decision by one of Turkey’s leading media companies, the Dogan Media Group to sell its media assets to the pro-government Demirören Group was seen as the last nail in the coffin of free media in Turkey.