Co-leader of Turkey's left-wing pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party, Selahattin Demirtas, harshly criticized the government and told Sputnik that free speech is going through one of the hardest times in Turkey's history.
"Today freedom of media in Turkey is going through one of the worst periods in history," Demirtas told Sputnik in an interview.
According to Demirtas, not only Turkish media, but also international news agencies are experiencing pressure from the Turkish government. A lot of journalists who worked for independent and opposition media agencies have lost their jobs. The government opened criminal cases against some media professionals.
"Under these circumstances what happened to Sputnik, unfortunately, is predictable, but it's absolutely unacceptable. There can be no justification for such attempts to interfere with the work of a respected International Agency," the leader of the Peoples' Democratic Party said.
Sidiqollah Tauhidi, the head of the organization for the protection of the rights of Afghan journalists, agreed with Demirtas, saying that the situation with freedom of speech and freedom of the press is becoming really bad.
"Almost every word of journalists, as we can see from numerous examples of crackdown on both local and international media, goes through censorship," Tauhidi told Sputnik.
The Afghan journalist added the closure of media agencies and newspapers shows that the current Turkish government isn't interested in having freedom of speech and questions whether there are left any democratic institutions and democracy in Turkey.
Earlier this year, a high-profile scandal involving the arrest and trial of two Cumhuriyet newspaper journalists took place. Two reporters, Can Dundar and Erdem Gul, are currently involved in a closed-door trial, having been charged with espionage for an article in which they accused the Turkish government of providing arms to terrorist groups in Syria.
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