Media and Democracy in Turkey: Towards a Model of Neoliberal Media Autocracy

Murat Akser, Banu Baybars-Hawks

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    44 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper reveals the ways in which media autocracy operates on political, judicial, economic and discursive levels in post-2007 Turkish media. Newsmakers in Turkey currently experience five different systemic kinds of neoliberal government pressures to keep their voice down: conglomerate pressure, judicial suppression, online banishment, surveillance defamation and accreditation discrimination. The progression of restrictions on media freedom has increased in volume annually since 2007; this includes pressure on the Doğan Media Group, the YouTube ban, arrests of journalists in the Ergenekon trials, phone tapping/taping of political figures and the exclusion of all unfriendly reporters from political circles. The levels and tools of this autocracy eventually lead to certain conclusions about the qualities of this media environment: it is a historically conservative, redistributive, panoptic and discriminatory media autocracy.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages302-321
    JournalMiddle East Journal of Culture and Communication
    Volume5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

    Fingerprint

    dictatorship
    Turkey
    democracy
    Accreditation
    media group
    reporter
    ban
    Economics
    suppression
    accreditation
    journalist
    surveillance
    discrimination
    exclusion
    Democracy
    Autocracy
    economics
    experience

    Keywords

    • media autocracy
    • censorship
    • surveillance
    • AKP
    • journalism

    Cite this

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    abstract = "This paper reveals the ways in which media autocracy operates on political, judicial, economic and discursive levels in post-2007 Turkish media. Newsmakers in Turkey currently experience five different systemic kinds of neoliberal government pressures to keep their voice down: conglomerate pressure, judicial suppression, online banishment, surveillance defamation and accreditation discrimination. The progression of restrictions on media freedom has increased in volume annually since 2007; this includes pressure on the Doğan Media Group, the YouTube ban, arrests of journalists in the Ergenekon trials, phone tapping/taping of political figures and the exclusion of all unfriendly reporters from political circles. The levels and tools of this autocracy eventually lead to certain conclusions about the qualities of this media environment: it is a historically conservative, redistributive, panoptic and discriminatory media autocracy.",
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    author = "Murat Akser and Banu Baybars-Hawks",
    note = "Reference text: Adaklı, G{\"u}lseren (2001). Yayıncılık Alanında Mulkiyet ve Kontrol [Ownership in the broadcasting sector and its regulation]. In Beybin Kejanlıoğlu, S. Celenk and G{\"u}lseren Adaklı (eds.), Medya Politikaları, pp. 145–204. Ankara: Imge. —— (2006). T{\"u}rkiye’ de Medya End{\"u}strisi: Neoliberalizm {\cC}ağında M{\"u}lkiyet ve Kontrol İlişkileri [Media industry in Turkey: Ownership and control in the age of neoliberalism]. Ankara: {\"U}topya. —— (2009). The Process of Neoliberalisation and the Transformation of the Turkish Media Sector in the Context of the New Media Architecture. In Jackie Harrison and Bridgette Wessel (eds.), Mediating Europe: Communication in Contemporary European Culture Contents, pp. 286–317. Oxford: Berghahn. —— (2010). 2002–2008: T{\"u}rk Medyasında AKP Etkisi. In İlhan Uzgel, and B{\"u}lent Duru (eds.), AKP Kitabı: Bir D{\"o}n{\"u}ş{\"u}m{\"u}n, pp. 559–613. Istanbul: Phoenix. Akın, Altug (2010). Dirty Seeds of Media Transformation in Turkey: The Vertigo of Communication. EastBound 2010(2). Accessed 9 August 2012: http://eastbound .eu/2010/akin. Alemdar, Korkmaz (2004). The Early Years of the Republican Press. Boğazi{\cc}i Journal 18(1–2): 35–41. Aykol, H{\"u}seyin (2008). Haber Basinindan Islamci Medyaya. Istanbul: Agora Kitaplığı. Bagdikian, Ben H. (2004). The New Media Monopoly. Boston: Beacon Press. BBC (2012). Turkey’s Military and the Alleged Coup Plots. Accessed 11 March 2012: http:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16447625, 6 January 2012. Bora, Tanıl (2002). Cem Uzan ve Neo-Fasizmin Yeni Yuzu: Sirket Konserlerinden Partiye. Birikim 162: 53–60. Chomsky, Noam (2003). Media Control. New York: Seven Stories Press. Cinar, Menderes (2006). Turkey’s Transformation Under the AKP Rule. Muslim World 96: 469–486. Cizre, {\"U}mit (2008). Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey: The Making of the Justice and Development Party. London and New York: Routledge. Cizre, {\"U}mit and Menderes {\cC}ınar (2003). Turkey 2002: Kemalism, Islamism, and Politics in the Light of the February 28 Process. South Atlantic Quarterly 102(2–3): 309–332. {\cC}{\"o}laşan, Emin (2007). Kovulduk Ey Halkin Unutma Bizi. Ankara: Bilgi. Demir, {\"O}mer, Mustafa Acar and Metin Toprak (2004). Anatolian Tigers or Islamic Capital: Prospects and Challenges. Middle Eastern Studies 40(6): 166–188. Doğan, E. (2005). The Historical and Discoursive Roots of the Justice and Development Party’s EU Stance. Turkish Studies 6(3): 421–437. Eğrikavuk, Işıl (2011). ‘Ekşi-users’ Raid Sour Web Freedom. H{\"u}rriyet Daily News. Accessed 22 April 2012: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=8216eksi -users8217–raids-sour-web-freedom-2011–06–26, 6 June 2011. Elgar, Katrin, Daniel Steinvorth and Issabel H{\"u}lsen (2009). Political Feud in Turkey Scares Off Foreign Investors. Der Spiegel. Accessed 20 April 2012: http://www.spiegel.de/ international/world/0,1518,615422,00.html, 25 March 2009. Filkins, Dexter (2012). Turkey’s Jailed Journalists. New Yorker. Accessed 9 August 2012: http:// www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/turkeys-jailed-journalists.html, 9 March 2012. Finkel, Andrew (2000). Who Guards the Turkish Press? A Perspective on Press Corruption in Turkey. Journal of International Affairs 54(1): 147–166. Fraser, Susan (2011). Turkish Website Threatens to Post More Sex Tapes. Guardian. Accessed 22 April 2012: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9651433, 18 May 2011. Freedom House (2011). Accessed 17 July 2011: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom -world/2011/turkey. Friedman, Steven (2011). Whose Freedom? South Africa’s Press, Middle-class Bias and the Threat of Control. Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies 32(2):106–121. Gottschlich, J{\"u}rgen (2011). Arrested Journalist’s Book Claims Turkish Police Infiltrated by Islamic Movement. 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    Media and Democracy in Turkey: Towards a Model of Neoliberal Media Autocracy. / Akser, Murat; Baybars-Hawks, Banu.

    In: Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Vol. 5, 01.11.2012, p. 302-321.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Media and Democracy in Turkey: Towards a Model of Neoliberal Media Autocracy

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    N1 - Reference text: Adaklı, Gülseren (2001). Yayıncılık Alanında Mulkiyet ve Kontrol [Ownership in the broadcasting sector and its regulation]. In Beybin Kejanlıoğlu, S. Celenk and Gülseren Adaklı (eds.), Medya Politikaları, pp. 145–204. Ankara: Imge. —— (2006). Türkiye’ de Medya Endüstrisi: Neoliberalizm Çağında Mülkiyet ve Kontrol İlişkileri [Media industry in Turkey: Ownership and control in the age of neoliberalism]. Ankara: Ütopya. —— (2009). The Process of Neoliberalisation and the Transformation of the Turkish Media Sector in the Context of the New Media Architecture. In Jackie Harrison and Bridgette Wessel (eds.), Mediating Europe: Communication in Contemporary European Culture Contents, pp. 286–317. Oxford: Berghahn. —— (2010). 2002–2008: Türk Medyasında AKP Etkisi. In İlhan Uzgel, and Bülent Duru (eds.), AKP Kitabı: Bir Dönüşümün, pp. 559–613. Istanbul: Phoenix. Akın, Altug (2010). Dirty Seeds of Media Transformation in Turkey: The Vertigo of Communication. EastBound 2010(2). Accessed 9 August 2012: http://eastbound .eu/2010/akin. Alemdar, Korkmaz (2004). The Early Years of the Republican Press. Boğaziçi Journal 18(1–2): 35–41. Aykol, Hüseyin (2008). Haber Basinindan Islamci Medyaya. Istanbul: Agora Kitaplığı. Bagdikian, Ben H. (2004). The New Media Monopoly. Boston: Beacon Press. BBC (2012). Turkey’s Military and the Alleged Coup Plots. Accessed 11 March 2012: http:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16447625, 6 January 2012. Bora, Tanıl (2002). Cem Uzan ve Neo-Fasizmin Yeni Yuzu: Sirket Konserlerinden Partiye. Birikim 162: 53–60. Chomsky, Noam (2003). Media Control. New York: Seven Stories Press. Cinar, Menderes (2006). Turkey’s Transformation Under the AKP Rule. Muslim World 96: 469–486. Cizre, Ümit (2008). Secular and Islamic Politics in Turkey: The Making of the Justice and Development Party. London and New York: Routledge. Cizre, Ümit and Menderes Çınar (2003). Turkey 2002: Kemalism, Islamism, and Politics in the Light of the February 28 Process. South Atlantic Quarterly 102(2–3): 309–332. Çölaşan, Emin (2007). Kovulduk Ey Halkin Unutma Bizi. Ankara: Bilgi. Demir, Ömer, Mustafa Acar and Metin Toprak (2004). Anatolian Tigers or Islamic Capital: Prospects and Challenges. Middle Eastern Studies 40(6): 166–188. Doğan, E. (2005). The Historical and Discoursive Roots of the Justice and Development Party’s EU Stance. Turkish Studies 6(3): 421–437. Eğrikavuk, Işıl (2011). ‘Ekşi-users’ Raid Sour Web Freedom. Hürriyet Daily News. Accessed 22 April 2012: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/default.aspx?pageid=438&n=8216eksi -users8217–raids-sour-web-freedom-2011–06–26, 6 June 2011. Elgar, Katrin, Daniel Steinvorth and Issabel Hülsen (2009). Political Feud in Turkey Scares Off Foreign Investors. Der Spiegel. Accessed 20 April 2012: http://www.spiegel.de/ international/world/0,1518,615422,00.html, 25 March 2009. Filkins, Dexter (2012). Turkey’s Jailed Journalists. New Yorker. Accessed 9 August 2012: http:// www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/turkeys-jailed-journalists.html, 9 March 2012. Finkel, Andrew (2000). Who Guards the Turkish Press? A Perspective on Press Corruption in Turkey. Journal of International Affairs 54(1): 147–166. Fraser, Susan (2011). Turkish Website Threatens to Post More Sex Tapes. Guardian. Accessed 22 April 2012: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/9651433, 18 May 2011. Freedom House (2011). Accessed 17 July 2011: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom -world/2011/turkey. Friedman, Steven (2011). Whose Freedom? South Africa’s Press, Middle-class Bias and the Threat of Control. Ecquid Novi: African Journalism Studies 32(2):106–121. Gottschlich, Jürgen (2011). Arrested Journalist’s Book Claims Turkish Police Infiltrated by Islamic Movement. Der Spiegel. Accessed 19 April 2012: http://www.spiegel.de/ international/world/0,1518,755508,00.html, 6 April 2011. M. Akser and B. Baybars-Hawks / 318 Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 5 (2012) 302–321 Gülalp, Haldun (1999). Political Islam in Turkey: The Rise and Fall of the Refah Party. Muslim World 89: 22–41. —— (2003). Globalization and Political Islam: The Social Bases of Turkey’s Welfare Party. International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 33: 433–448. Güvenç, Duygu (2007).The AKP Celebrates Glorious Victory. Turkish Daily News. 23 July 2007. Haber 24 (2008). Erdoğan: Doğan gazetelerini almayın. Accessed 11 March 2012: http://www .haber-24.com/28793_Erdogan–Dogan-Gazetelerini-Almayin.htm, 19 June 2008. Hafez, Kai (2005). Globalization, Regionalization and Democratization: The Interaction of Three Paradigms in the Field of Mass Communication. In Robert A. Hackett and Yuezhi Zhao (eds.), Democratizing Global Media: One World, Many Struggles, pp. 145–164. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Hammarberg, Thomas (2011). 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    PY - 2012/11/1

    Y1 - 2012/11/1

    N2 - This paper reveals the ways in which media autocracy operates on political, judicial, economic and discursive levels in post-2007 Turkish media. Newsmakers in Turkey currently experience five different systemic kinds of neoliberal government pressures to keep their voice down: conglomerate pressure, judicial suppression, online banishment, surveillance defamation and accreditation discrimination. The progression of restrictions on media freedom has increased in volume annually since 2007; this includes pressure on the Doğan Media Group, the YouTube ban, arrests of journalists in the Ergenekon trials, phone tapping/taping of political figures and the exclusion of all unfriendly reporters from political circles. The levels and tools of this autocracy eventually lead to certain conclusions about the qualities of this media environment: it is a historically conservative, redistributive, panoptic and discriminatory media autocracy.

    AB - This paper reveals the ways in which media autocracy operates on political, judicial, economic and discursive levels in post-2007 Turkish media. Newsmakers in Turkey currently experience five different systemic kinds of neoliberal government pressures to keep their voice down: conglomerate pressure, judicial suppression, online banishment, surveillance defamation and accreditation discrimination. The progression of restrictions on media freedom has increased in volume annually since 2007; this includes pressure on the Doğan Media Group, the YouTube ban, arrests of journalists in the Ergenekon trials, phone tapping/taping of political figures and the exclusion of all unfriendly reporters from political circles. The levels and tools of this autocracy eventually lead to certain conclusions about the qualities of this media environment: it is a historically conservative, redistributive, panoptic and discriminatory media autocracy.

    KW - media autocracy

    KW - censorship

    KW - surveillance

    KW - AKP

    KW - journalism

    U2 - 10.1163/18739865-00503011

    DO - 10.1163/18739865-00503011

    M3 - Article

    VL - 5

    SP - 302

    EP - 321

    JO - Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

    T2 - Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

    JF - Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication

    SN - 1873-9857

    ER -