Turkey Shuts Down an Online Newspaper Critical of Azerbaijani Regime

November 23rd, 2016

azadliq qazeti

Several days ago, Turkish authorities shut down the online newspaper kurultay.com.tr, and revoked the press accreditation of its Editor-in-Chief Aydin Tash, reported APA information agency, citing an anonymous source. Tash is also the Ankara correspondent for the Azerbaijani opposition newspaper Azadliq,

“The reason for the closure of the online newspaper is the publication of false and biased information about the nation and state of Azerbaijan. The Turkish authorities have begun taking serious measures against the media outlets and journalists pursuing this kind of activity and [who are] controlled, instructed and used against Azerbaijan by the Armenian Diaspora and some foreign circles. Some of them have already received serious warnings due to such activities,” read the APA report. APA has a clear pro-regime position in Azerbaijan.

According to APA, Ali Hasanov, Aide to the Azerbaijani President on Socio-Political Issues recently travelled to Turkey and met with the heads and authorised representatives of the government agencies. The meetings saw substantive discussions on domestic political matters, including anti-state groups controlled from abroad. The steps currently being taken in Turkey towards “the neutralisation of the anti-Azerbaijan network” would appear to be the results of the these discussions.

Aydin Tash, Editor-in-Chief of Kurultay newspaper, confirmed the shutdown of kurultay.com.tr.

“Ali Hasanov visited Turkey because of me. Kurultay newspaper is one of the websites that the Aliyev regime does not like. We have written about how FETO supporters have not been touched in Azerbaijan, how the Aliyev regime has lied to the Turkish public, and how the real FETO supporters [in Azerbaijan] have falsely smeared opposition members and got them arrested. This has seriously worried Azerbaijani authorities. We raised our objections to site shutdown, and will take this case to court,” Aydin Tash said.

Azadliq newspaper editor Rovshan Hajibayli told IRFS that Aydin Tash had been collaborating with the newspaper, and had been issued a press card by Azadliq.

Hajibayli added that following Ali Hasanov’s visit to Turkey in October, the journalist’s accreditation was revoked.