Turkish Government Bans Hundreds of News Outlets As Erdogan Power Grab Continues

Katie Pavlich
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Posted: Jul 27, 2016 4:00 PM
Turkish Government Bans Hundreds of News Outlets As Erdogan Power Grab Continues

As the fallout from a recently failed coup continues, President Recep Erdogan has forcefully closed at least 130 media outlets. This is another alarming move by Erdogan, who is using the coup and it's failure as an excuse to "cleanse" the military and media of any regime detractors. More from Fox News:

Turkey's government has decided to close down dozens of media outlets, including 45 newspapers and 16 television stations in the wake of a failed military coup, the country's state-run news agency reported Wednesday.

The Anadolu Agency also reported that close to 1,700 military officers have been formally discharged.

CNN Turk reported that 130 media organizations had been shuttered in a widening crackdown by Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Earlier this week, the Ankara government issued detention warrants for 42 journalists suspected of links to the alleged coup plotters.

"We fear there will be a witch hunt which would include journalists known as 'critical' against the government. Because they are putting all journalists into one bag," Ahmet Abakay of the Progressive Journalists' Association, a media group based in Ankara, told the Associated Press Monday. He said the situation was "very dangerous for every journalist" and that government warnings to reporters to be careful would lead to self-censorship.

"By rounding up journalists, the government is failing to make a distinction between criminal acts and legitimate criticism," said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International's deputy director for Europe.

Turkey is still considered a democracy and is part of NATO, but as Erdogan's power grabs continue, the status of both are being heavily questioned.

Erdogan has been criticized for years by journalism organizations for tightening his grip on the press and has turned Turkey away from a westernized society while bolstering the Islamicization of country. Three months ago, Erdogan claimed he wasn't at war with the press. It seems things have changed.

Some have argued Erdogan set up the coup, knowing it would fail, in order to achieve absolute power.