Turkish President urges state bodies not to be swayed by foreign influence

Erdogan calls for fight against "foreign influence" in the media

photo_camera PHOTO/REUTERS - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a press conference in Istanbul

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, urged all state agencies in a decree published in the Turkish Official Gazette to act urgently to counter "foreign influence and corruption of national culture" as well as to safeguard "moral and national values" in media and film productions.   

However, critics of the Turkish government believe that this could be for the purpose of increasing censorship.  

In addition, the decree authorizes the imposition of sanctions and relevant legal changes with the aim of preventing "the erosion of moral and national values and social and family structure through overt or covert media publications."   

The circular also requires channel managers not to broadcast such content. 

This decree is made in reference to the various debates about the TV program Mask Singer: Guess Who's Singing, which has become the center of attention in recent days.  

Presidente de Turqu铆a, Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The program, of South Korean origin, consists of various performances of famous people under numerous disguises and masks that conceal their identity.

However, different ultra-conservative groups have criticized the program on social networks for encouraging "Satanism, paganism and shamanism". 鈥嬧嬧嬧嬧嬧嬧  

In addition, the High Council of Turkish Broadcasting (RT脺K), under the pretext that the program harms children, has started an investigation against it.   

"This is an unconstitutional text: rights protected by the Constitution cannot be curtailed by means of a presidential circular," clarifies the co-president of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), Veysel Ok.

En respuesta a la detenci贸n policial del fot贸grafo Bulent Kilic por cubrir el desfile del orgullo prohibido el 26 de junio, los trabajadores de los medios de comunicaci贸n se re煤nen en protesta por la presi贸n sobre la libertad de expresi贸n y el periodismo en Estambul, Turqu铆a, el 29 de junio de 2021

However, the lawyer adds that, in the absence of any measure whose legal value was legitimate, "it will be taken as an order" by various state agencies.  

"So we can expect more investigations against TV stations and journalists, even the closure of some media. Erdogan could have achieved this by making some phone calls, but he is making it public to reinforce political polarization and instill fear in society," Veysel Ok added.  

However, the opposition press believes that these debates are part of the Islamists' "culture war" to motivate their voters, to counter the economic crisis that has diminished support for the Turkish president.  

Un grupo de personas se sit煤a detr谩s de una pancarta en la que se lee en turco "No podemos respirar. El periodismo no puede ser ahogado", durante una concentraci贸n frente a las oficinas del gobernador de Ankara el 29 de junio de 2021, exigiendo la protecci贸n de los periodistas frente a la polic铆a tras la violenta detenci贸n del fotoperiodista turco Bulent Kilic, con sede en Estambul, mientras cubr铆a una marcha del Orgullo el 26 de junio

It should also be noted that the decree comes after the attacks against the singer Sezen Aksu, queen of Turkish pop since the 1980s, for describing Adam and Eve as "ignorant" in one of her songs. 

According to the local press, RT脺K executives called Turkish channels to stop broadcasting the song.   

The Turkish president himself threatened to "tear out the tongues" of all those who "defame" Adam and Eve, although he later clarified that he was not referring to the singer.   

 The Minister of Justice of Turkey, Abdulhamit Gul
Resignation of the Turkish Minister of Justice 

Last Friday, January 28, Abdulhamit Gul announced that he has resigned from his post as Minister of Justice.

His appointment has already been published in the Official State Gazette, as reported by the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah. 

"With the approval of our honorable president (Recep Tayyip Erdogan), I am resigning from my position as justice minister, a position I have been holding since July 19, 2017," he made his resignation known via his Twitter account, where he posted the message. 

The already former Turkish Justice Minister, Abdulhamit Gul, will be replaced by Bekir Bozdag, who was his predecessor and held the post of deputy prime minister.   

Until now, he was a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)

La lira turca

On the other hand, the dismissal of Sait Erdal Din莽er, as president of the Turkish Statistical Institute, has also been announced.

"In accordance with Article 38 of the Education Law (...) and Presidential Decree number three, Sait's duty as chairman of the Turkish Statistical Institute has been terminated," as published in the Turkish State Gazette.

According to information from SonDakika newspaper, the Turkish National Institute of Statistics, published that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Turkey has increased by 13.5% in December compared to the previous month and by 36% compared to the December 2020 figure. 

This cessation follows the controversy unleashed by the publication by this body of certain data on inflation, which were far from the figures published by other official bodies. 

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