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Turkey shutters dozens of news outlets in media crackdown

1,000 officers, including over 100 generals and admirals, dismissed from military in post-coup purge

A Turkish man reads a newspaper to check the results of elections in Diyarbakir on June 8, 2015. (AFP/BULENT KILIC)
A Turkish man reads a newspaper to check the results of elections in Diyarbakir on June 8, 2015. (AFP/BULENT KILIC)

The Turkish government launched a massive media crackdown Wednesday, shutting dozens of news outlets, and dismissing over a thousand soldiers from the military in a post-coup attempt purge.

According to CNN Turk, the government closed three news agencies, 16 TV stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, and 15 journals. At least 30 journalists were arrested, according to local reporters.

Over 100 generals and admirals were also sent packing, along with at least 1,000 other officers, for alleged connections to this month’s failed coup by elements within the military.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern at the Turkish government’s restrictions on individual rights under the state of emergency imposed after a failed July 15 coup, and “worrying reports” of mistreatment of some military detainees.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Ban told Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a phone call Wednesday that he expects the government to uphold its international human rights obligations, including freedom of expression, movement and peaceful assembly as well as independence of the judiciary and legal profession.

Turkey has detained more than 13,000 people in the military, judiciary and other institutions in purges since the uprising and suspended tens of thousands of other state employees.

Haq said Ban hopes Turkey “will transform this moment of uncertainty into a moment of unity” that preserves democracy.

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