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Turkey

French Press Stands With Cumhuriyet  As Trial Opens In Turkey

Rally in support of Cumhuriyet journalists in Istanbul on July 24
Rally in support of Cumhuriyet journalists in Istanbul on July 24
Bertrand Hauger

Libération, July 24, 2017

Leading French daily Libération showed its support for embattled Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet, as a trial gets underway for 17 journalists and staff members on charges of aiding a terrorist organization.

The front page for this special Libération with Cumhuriyet edition features a cartoon — a meaningful choice of expression in light of the 2015 attack on satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris — depicting a newspaper acting as shackles, alongside the headline: "The press according to Erdogan."

The trial is the latest in the government crackdown on press freedom in the country. An estimated 150 news outlets have been shut down in the wake of the failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on July 15, 2016.

The 17 Cumhuriyet journalists and staffers are accused of aiding the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as well as the Gülen movement, which Erdogan widely blames for the coup attempt.

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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