Repressed Media and Illiberal Politics in Turkey: The Persistence of Fear

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This article examines the historical roots of the role of successive Turkish governments’ fear of media and Turkish media’s fear of government authority with respect to the development of press freedom over the long run and closely analyzes the historical pressures imposed on journalists through legal and informal means. We focus particularly on the economic and political pressure on the media in Turkey and offer three arguments regarding the fear in Turkish media: (1) Media fear is historical rather than a rupture that happened during the Justice and Development Party era; (2) out of fear of losing power, the governments use structural, legislative and extra-legal factors to the advantage of the ruling party to support a friendly media-ecology; and (3) the repressed media attempt to come out of this ecology of fear by utilizing new tactics of reporting, such as alternative media and citizen journalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-177
Number of pages19
JournalSoutheast European and Black Sea Studies
Issue number1
Early online date14 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • media
  • politics
  • turkey
  • fake news
  • disinformation
  • Turkey
  • Media
  • democratic backsliding
  • journalism


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