Book Review

From the late Ottoman era to today’s Turkey, the state of media freedom has never been secure amid incessant political pressure from the palace or governments.

Anti-riot police detains a journalist during a police raid to break up protest at Ankara University in early 2017.
Anti-riot police detains a journalist during a police raid to break up protest at Ankara University in early 2017.

Though the wheel of history sometimes rolls down in reversal cycles, it is still surprising to see that the progress of the past decades in terms of media freedom has suffered remarkable setbacks on a global scale at such a pace. The whole world, including the advanced Western democracies, and most notably the U.S., stands a tough trial in the face of political winds of populism, resurgent strident nationalism, and concerted efforts on both sides of the political aisle to test the most fundamental institution of social conduct: truth.

No place other than Turkey could offer a better example to encapsulate polar opposites of the two extremes played out in plain sight: the eye-catching pace of novel democratic reforms during the 2000s and disappointing setbacks of the past years in terms of almost everything; democracy, rule of law, free speech and the mechanism of truth. …

About

Abdullah Ayasun

Virginia-based journalist and writer. Politics, culture, art, and technology. American political affairs, Turkey, the MidEast, and beyond. Twitter: @abyasun

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