In yet another move by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government to silence dissident voices in the media, access to two personal blogs of US-based journalist İlhan Tanır was banned in Turkey on Tuesday.
Tanır, known for his objective Turkey-related stories including those on the trial process of controversial Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab, and analysis from Washington, D.C., wrote on his Twitter account: “Apparently, Turkish gvt got nothing to do and go after my personal blogs. They shut down my 2nd blog site this week. Ridiculous. Crazy!”
Zarrab was arrested in Turkey in 2013 for bribing Turkish officials as part of an investigation implicating members of the AK Party government and people close to then-Prime Minister and present-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was released after the charges were dropped. The Turkish prosecutor and the police officers responsible for the investigation were either suspended or arrested after the AKP government claimed that the corruption investigation was an attempt by Gülen sympathizers in the state bureaucracy to overthrow the government.
The AK Party government has shut down scores of TV and radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets critical of the AK Party government in the last three years, recently accelerated during the state of emergency declared after a failed military coup on July 15.
The Turkish government has also banned access to hundreds of Twitter accounts, websites and blogs owned by dissident journalists from Turkey.