Leading Turkish newspaper editor resigns
ahead of election
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[August 09, 2014]
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The editor of a
leading Turkish newspaper has resigned ahead of Sunday's presidential
election after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan slammed the news coverage
of the paper's owner, the Dogan media group.
Rights groups have frequently expressed concerns about government
pressure on the media in Turkey, drawing attention to the widespread
firing of editors and reporters.
An opposition MP and media reports linked Friday's departure of Enis
Berberoglu from the mainstream Hurriyet daily to such pressure, but
the paper dismissed the allegations as "political scenarios" and
said he left of his own accord.
"Enis Berberoglu deliberately decided to announce his decision
before the presidential election so that no political meaning was
attributed to it," its statement said.
Berberoglu himself has not commented publicly.
Erdogan is poised to become Turkey's first popularly elected
president in Sunday's election, but his tightening grip on power has
polarized the nation and raised fears of creeping authoritarianism.
Erdogan, who has long been at odds with the Dogan group, rejects
allegations of growing restrictions on media freedom, saying his
government has boosted press freedom since it first came to power 12
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He sharply criticized the Dogan group in an election rally on
Thursday, accusing it of airing anti-Muslim comments on one of its
television channels and of pro-Israeli bias in its coverage of the
conflict in Gaza.
(Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Alison Williams)
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