MediaKit: Fifth Anniversary of the Zaman Media Group Takeover

Implications of the Zaman media group takeover for Turkish democracy
March 4, 2021
Guray and 66. Sonnet*
March 4, 2021
Show all

MediaKit: Fifth Anniversary of the Zaman Media Group Takeover

On March 4, 2016, trustees were appointed by İstanbul 6th Criminal Judge of the Peace to the Zaman Media Group (Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş.) under Article 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The decision maintained that Zaman newspaper made propaganda for a terrorist organization and trustees were appointed to prevent this.

Long before the trustee appointment, Zaman Media Group and their managers had been under political pressure, particularly since mid-2013. A combination of embargo tactics were used against the Zaman Media Group. Businesses were discouraged from giving advertisement to the outlets of the groups, contributors were incentivised to transfer to government controlled media, correspondents of Zaman Media Group were not accepted to official press meetings and the prime minister of the country publicly called the readers of Zaman to quit subscription of the newspaper.

The takeover of the Zaman Media Group was intentionally staged as a brutal police intervention in order to give a message to the readership of the newspaper, and to the remaining critical media. In fact, wholescale persecution of critical media continued after the takeover of Zaman Media Group. Turkey is still the largest jailer of media workers. Stockholm Center for Freedom’s 2017 report “Freedom of the Press in Turkey: Far Worse than You Think,” is not the most updated report, but due to its closeness to the time of the takeover, it can serve as a good source as an initial read: https://www.stockholmcf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Freedom_of_press_in_Turkey_26.01.2017.pdf

An updated list of journalists and media workers who are convicted, arrested, wanted and are released on probation can be found here: https://stockholmcf.org/updated-list/

A most recent Media Monitoring Report by the M4D Project can be found here: http://media4democracy.org/public/uploads/reports_8569972.pdf

Bianet’s 2020 Annual Report for Freedom of Expression can be found here, https://bianet.org/english/freedom-of-expression/237966-our-jaw-has-dropped-in-the-face-of-this-media-freedom where you can find a beautifully prepared infographic for the current scene of media freedom in Turkey.

Bianet’s Media Ownership Monitor Turkey, jointly prepared with Reporters Without Borders is very helpful by means of depicting the current media ownership scene of Turkey: https://turkey.mom-rsf.org/en/

Joint submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Turkey by ARTICLE 19, P24, PEN International, English PEN, Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), International Press Institute (IPI), Freemuse, European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), IFEX and Norsk PEN is also a well studied document on the overall freedom of expression in Turkey, though it was written in July 2019: https://www.article19.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Turkey-UPR-submission_July2019.pdf

This joint submission by International Observatory of Human Rights, The Press Emblem Campaign and London Advocacy is also a helpful one: https://uprdoc.ohchr.org/uprweb/downloadfile.aspx?filename=7334&file=EnglishTranslation

Another most recent report is by the Turkey Tribunal: https://turkeytribunal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Turkey-Tribunal-Press-Freedom-Report_FINAL.pdf

PHOTOS RELATED TO THE TAKEOVER OF ZAMAN MEDIA GROUP – WITH CAPTION NOTES

A picture containing night

Description automatically generated
Here is a selection of photographs from the night of 4 March 2016 and the morning of 5 March 2016 at the headquarters of Zaman Media Group. All of the photographs are provided here royalty free on condition of accompanying a news item relating to the takeover of the Zaman Media Group.

https://journalistsinexile.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Zaman-Gazetesi-Baskini3-2.jpg

Police cutting the steel fence around the Zaman Media Group’s HQ, 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul

Police used water cannons to disperse the readers of Zaman Daily protesting against the takeover of their newspaper. 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul

The last editor in chief of Zaman Daily, Mr Abdulhamit Bilici saluting the protesting supporters in front of Zaman Media Group HQ, 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul


The police forcefully evicted the last editor in chief of Zaman Daily, Mr Abdulhamit Bilici from his office, 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul

The police used tear gas to disperse the supporters of Zaman Media Group, 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul

600 police officers entered the Zaman Media Group Plaza in order to protect the three caretakers appointed to the media group, 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul

The police used tear gas to disperse the supporters of Zaman Media Group, 4 March 2016, Yenibosna, Istanbul

GRAPHICS RELATED TO THE ZAMAN MEDIA GROUP

The logos of Zaman Daily is available here.