The New York Times notices TurkeyIt took way too long, but the New York Times has finally noticed that Turkey isn't exactly a Western democracy.
Turkey has long provided a heartening model of democracy for the Muslim world. Now, with so many people in the region demanding freedom, Turkey’s government is betraying its values and its citizens, pressuring journalists to mute critical reporting about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his administration.The Times coyly pretends that there actually is a conspiracy. But in all likelihood there isn't one.
Last week, a leading investigative journalist, Nedim Sener, was arrested. He had earlier angered the authorities by digging into the 2007 murder of Hrant Dink, a Turkish-Armenian journalist who had also run afoul of the government. More recently, Mr. Sener has questioned the government’s handling of an alleged terrorist conspiracy to overthrow the Erdogan government.
He is being held on the astonishing claim that he is somehow part of that conspiracy. His lawyers are not permitted to see any evidence the government may have against him. Human rights advocates fear that he could be detained for years. Similar charges have been leveled against another prominent journalist, Ahmet Sik.
These arrests are the latest fallout from the Erdogan government’s seemingly out-of-control conspiracy investigations. A parallel investigation into an alleged military coup plot has resulted in the imprisonment of 1 out of every 10 high-ranking officers.
Neither investigation has yet come up with conclusive evidence of actual conspiracies. But hundreds of journalists have been subjected to criminal investigations for their reporting on these inquiries, leading some newspapers to engage in self-censorship.
The Times needs to be more alert to what's going on in the world if it's going to insist on being called the 'newspaper of record.' The Jews are usually just the canary in the coal mine - and that seems to be the case this time as well.