The bloody twin suicide bombings in Ankara on Oct. 10 went down in history as the deadliest terrorist attack in Turkey's history. In an environment where the country needed common sense following such an atrocious terrorist attack, some media outlets lashed out at Erdoğan and harshly criticized him on the grounds of self-produced accusations. To set an example, taking the Özgür Gündem daily into consideration might be useful. Being a PKK-affiliated newspaper, the headline on the front page of Özgür Gündem daily was "Murderer Erdoğan." How can one explain such a headline with the freedom of press that is assumed to not exist? While the Özgür Gündem daily preferred to depict Erdoğan as the one and only perpetrator of the deadliest attack in Turkey's history, another opposition newspaper, the BirGün daily, opted for "Yıkılsın Bu Ölüm İktidarı" (May this government of murder be toppled).
Those who do not abstain from explicitly insulting, threatening or degrading Erdoğan as well as the AK Party, whether in newspapers or on social media, are the ones arguing about how the freedom of speech has worsened.
There is a misleading perception in Turkish society regarding lawsuits filed only against anti-government media groups. According to data compiled by the law department of the Turkuvaz Media Group, which is labeled as pro-government there have been 391 lawsuits filed against Turkuvaz Media Group since 2013. Out of 391, 285 lawsuits are ongoing. Specifically, in 2015 up to now, there have been 152 lawsuits filed against the group and 145 of them are ongoing.
The five best-selling papers are the Zaman, Hürriyet, Sözcü, Posta and Sabah, totaling 1,941,600 papers a day. Except for Sabah, four newspapers at the top strongly oppose the government.
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