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Erdoğan wants national perspective to pervade universities, media, businesses

President of Turkey and Chairman of the Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said a local and national perspective should be embedded in the media, universities and businesses due to their impact on the public.

Erdoğan’s remarks came on Thursday during a speech at the police academy graduation ceremony in Ankara.

Arguing that no other ideology should be allowed to precede national interests, Erdoğan emphasized the significance of fighting against those who are trying to divide Turkey.

“In fields that have a strong impact on the public, such as media, higher education and business world, we should embed the local and national understanding. We should not allow any mentality, no matter what their appearance, claim or guise might be, which considers itself above the interests of the state and nation, to reign in those fields. This, for us, must be indispensable,” said Erdoğan.

Following a botched coup attempt in July 2016, 5,717 academics at 117 universities were dismissed from their jobs due to government decrees issued under a state of emergency, the Diken news website reported on Sept 20.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on July that the government has seized 966 companies from people allegedly linked to the Gülen movement as part of a witch-hunt launched following a failed coup attempt.

“In addition, 4,888 properties of those 966 companies were also seized and transferred to the Finance Ministry,” said Kurtulmuş.

Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2017 World Press Freedom Index. The situation of media in Turkey has become critical under the state of emergency proclaimed after the coup attempt.

About 170 journalists are still in jail. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled.

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