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Turkish Academic Slams Ankara's Slide Towards '1984-Style Regime'

© AP Photo / Emrah GurelTurkish journalists cover their mouths with black ribbons before the trial of Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet and Erdem Gul (File)
Turkish journalists cover their mouths with black ribbons before the trial of Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet and Erdem Gul (File) - Sputnik International
You are only safe in Turkey as long as you refrain from criticizing the country's authorities, Erkan Saka, a media studies professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, told Sputnik.

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In an interview with Sputnik, Erkan Saka, a media studies professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, slammed Ankara for its backtracking on human rights, saying that feeling safe in Turkey is only possible when you avoid pointing the finger at the country's powers that be.

The interview came after the Turkish Telecommunications Department's decision to block the Sputnik news agency's website in Turkey, in what Sputnik's Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan described as a clear sign of censorship and lack of freedom of speech in the country.

Saka, for his part, said that Ankara is hurtling towards a totalitarian regime described by English novelist George Orwell in his best-known work Nineteen Eighty-Four.

"It looks like it is going to a Nineteen Eighty-Four-style regime. It seems that as long as you are not critical of the authorities you are okay, but only for now. Unfortunately, basic freedoms are narrowing down fast," he said.

He added that the global community is unable to duly respond to Ankara backsliding on human rights due to the ongoing migrant crisis.

"Turkish authorities are capitalizing on the EU and the international community being stuck with the refugee crisis to be even more repressive domestically," he said.

Sputnik's bureau chief in Turkey said on Friday that the Turkish Telecommunications Department had confirmed that a decision was made to block the Russian news agency Sputnik's website within the country.

Radio Sputnik studio - Sputnik International
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Sputnik, which is the foreign language news site in Russia's Rossiya Segodnya media holding, was blocked in Turkey on Thursday evening with the country's Telecommunications Department citing the so-called "administrative measures." 

In January 2015, the Turkish Prime Minister and other ministers received the right to block any type of resource on the Internet without a court order.

The ministers may demand the Turkish Telecommunications Department and providers to block sites or delete content within four hours after receiving a notice of "national security, protection of social order, or for the prevention of crime."

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