Pro-state think tank targets foreign media in Turkey

Since a failed coup in 2016, critical journalism and press freedom have been severely curtailed in Turkey, and foreign media operating in the country have once again come under increased scrutiny.

On Saturday, the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), an Ankara-based think tank with close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), published a 200-page report detailing the work, social media activity and employment history of journalists with international news outlets providing Turkish-language services.

Titled “The extensions of international media outlets in Turkey,” the report accuses numerous media organizations and journalists of exhibiting “bias” against the Turkish state, sparking outrage among free speech advocates who say its contents could be used as evidence to indict individuals named in the document.

In response, the Journalists’ Union of Turkey and the Media and Law Studies Association said they would file a criminal complaint against SETA for “blacklisting” journalists and alleging foreign media was conducting propaganda operations in an effort to change “perceptions” among Turkish audiences.

The report looks like a “form of intimidation and an attempt to discredit the growing effect of international media coverage,” Erol Onderoglu, the Turkey representative for Reporters Without Borders, told Al-Monitor.

Read the full report on Al Monitor: