Empty columns and Turkish media

Every Monday is a new source of sorrow for me. My pieces are printed on daily Hürriyet's ombudsman's column section, but daily Cumhuriyet ombudsman Güray Öz's column has been empty for weeks. Öz has been in prison for the past 92 days along with the other writers and administrators of Cumhuriyet. 

Daily Milliyet's ombudsperson Belma Akçura's pieces are not being printed on her paper either. The last "Ombudsman Corner" was printed on Nov. 21, 2016. 

It was only four newspapers in Turkey that featured ombudsman corners, and now two of them are not functioning. My colleagues, with whom I worked as part of the same generation, have been forced into "not doing their jobs as journalists," which is a hurtful epitome that depicts the current situation of the media.   

It doesn't stop there. Every time I enter my office, there is another situation that reminds me of our state.

 The office next to mine has been closed for the past two months. The office was once Doğan Holding Ankara Representative Barbaros Muratoğlu's, who has been deprived of his freedom since Dec. 1, 2016. He is also among those in Istanbul's Silivri Prison. 

Moreover, the number of journalists in jail is increasing every passing day. According to the Contemporary Journalists Association, the number of journalists in prison has reached 147. According to BİA Media Observation Report, prepared by Erol Önderoğlu, the number of journalists undergoing trails is 229. During October and December 2016, there have been 12 gag orders, and 24 media outlets have been shut down.

 The number of unemployed journalists is now enunciated in thousands. According to Reporters Without Borders' Press Freedom Index, our country is ranked 151st among 180 countries. 

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