Özge Uyanık is a journalist for Yol TV in Turkey.
She committed the crime of asking a straightforward question to the Health Minister Fahrettin Koca. Because the question was an unscripted and not pre-approved question, she was not allowed to speak or ask the question in the press conference.
Yet, Uyanık did not give in. She asked the question through the social media instead. The question she insisted was actually a very simple question. As the country is forced into hunger, unemployment, misery and deaths due to corruption, theft, mismanagement and outright transferring all national resources to a handful of pro-government corporations and international capital, the President was filmed at a luxurious party in his 1100 room palace in honor of the Prime Minister of Iraq. The dinner had live musicians, drinks, and a very expensive menu, as Erdoğan loves show of wealth, even when the entire economy has collapsed in his country.
The reporter’s question was asking the Health Minister, “How do you interpret this feast with live music and expensive food?”
In Turkey, a country where more than 27,000 people are on trial for “insulting the president”, one understands that this question will not be accepted. More than 900 of the 27,000 on trial for insulting the president are children. President and his party, AKP’s, appointed judges, prosecutors and judicial officials have turned justice into a joke as anybody who criticizes Erdoğan or even questions his policies is immediately charged with being a terrorist. Turkey is one of the top countries in the world with the most journalists in prison.
After Uyanık’s message appeared, without a warning, she was taken off the Ministry’s communication list. This means she will no longer be notified of press releases or conferences and most probably will not be allowed to attend.
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