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Media Alert - Part 2 Ataturk Societies Of the USA and the UK
Ataturk societies of the united states of america and the united kingdom strongly oppose the turkish ruling party’s declared intention to change “turkey’s founding principles” protected by the current constitution
8. At the same time, severe restrictions have been put on “freedom of speech” and “freedom of press”. On April 2010, Turkey’s Justice Minister said that police intelligence listens to the private conversations of 70,000 people; almost one in every 1,000 Turks live in police scrutiny today. Turkey also ranks at the bottom of the list in Western Europe with regard to the “freedom of press”. The President of Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) complained that there are thousands of cases filed against journalists, more than hundred filed by Erdogan alone. Currently about 100 Turkish journalists are in jail. One of them was arrested even before the book was published, for authoring a book that investigates the grip on Turkish politics of a religious group. The police seized and burned the unpublished book, while imposing a ban on its Internet accessibility. Working closely with the PM’s office, the Turkish Telecom and Communication Ministry (TIB) put thousands of wire tabs on political rivals and introduced censorship on “Google” and “YouTube” many times. TIB recently announced its intention to impose, more restrictions on Internet. The great majority of the independent media, critical of the government, were forced through unclear legal reasons to sell their businesses, daily newspapers and TV stations to AKP supporters. As a result, the share of Turkish media held by religious, pro-AKP groups rose from about 20 to over 65 percent, at present. In these sale transactions, large credits were granted to AKP supporters from state-owned banks. Furthermore, the Public Procurement Law was amended several times and thresholds for tenders reduced steadily to avoid competitive bidding and allow sales to AKP supporters.
9. We oppose to any change in Turkey’s “Founding Principles and Vision”. We, the members of the Ataturk Societies of USA and the United Kingdom, STRONGLY OPPOSE AKP’s plan to change the constitution and remove the “founding principles of Turkey” from its text. Even with these principles in place in current Constitution, the AKP has moved ahead with its Islamist agenda and already tarnished Turkey’s pro-Western, modern, secular and democratic identity and image. With the removal of Ataturk’s philosophy and vision from the Constitution, it would be harder, if not impossible, to prevent Turkey’s slide into an anti-Western, anti- Democratic, and anti-Secular Islamist state.*
References: 1. Turkish Constitutional Court Documents. (Ankara) May 27, 2011; 2. “Degismez Maddeler Degisebilir!”
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The Atatürk Society of America (ASA) is an independent non-profit organization founded 1995 in Washington DC, with the objective of promoting the ideals of Atatürk's political legacy.