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The Tickle File is ftm's daily column of media news, complimenting the feature articles on major media issues. Tickle File items point out media happenings, from the oh-so serious to the not-so serious, that should not escape notice...in a shorter, more informal format.

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Week of April 17, 2017

Diplomats grimace at election media coverage
"not good news"

Last weekend’s constitutional referendum in Turkey, and the results thereof, brought focus to criticism of the country’s media policies. “Our monitoring showed the ‘Yes’ campaign dominated the media coverage and this, along with restrictions on the media, the arrests of journalists and the closure of media outlets, reduced voters’ access to a plurality of views,” said Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) head of monitoring Tana de Zulueta, in a statement accompanying the election observer’s initial report (April 17).

Earlier Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan minded the OSCE to “know your place,” quoted by Hurriyet Daily News (April 14). “We will not consider, see or recognize your political report. We will go on our own way.”(See more about media in Turkey here)

"It goes without saying that state-owned TV channels and all the pro-government stations have, in a systematic manner, covered only the government’s perspective,” said Reporters sans Frontieres (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoglu, quoted by the UK Independent (April 16). Former pro-government Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu, who did not support the referendum, was attacked by “a mob of about 30” pro-government supporters after casting his vote in Istanbul, reported CNN Turk (April 16). (See more about elections and media here)

"This is not good news for (Die Welt correspondent) Deniz Yücel,” said German Social Democratic Party (SPD) spokesperson for foreign affairs Niels Annen to news portal neues-deutschland.de (April 18). Mr. Yücel, a dual German-Turkish citizen, was jailed after arrest two months ago for “spreading propaganda” and German diplomats have sought his release. Last week president Erdogan told a crowd of supporters that Mr. Yücel would “never” be released "as long as I am in office,” quoted by Deutsche Welle (April 14). Winning the constitutional referendum could allow president Erdogan to remain in power until 2029.

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