May 16 2018

Environmental news blocked for insulting Turkish president

A report on the felling of trees on the Aegean coast for the construction of a 300-person presidential summer palace has been censored in Turkey for “insulting the president”, Communist news site SoL said.

According to the report in opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, around 40,000 pine and sweetgum trees were cut down in order to extend the four-room presidential summerhouse in Gökova Bay built by a former president, Turgut Özal, into a summer palace with room for 400 staff.

While the trees were being cut down, the report said, civil society groups that wanted to protest the move were prevented from doing so by gendarmes.

Necmettin Yankol, who heads the Marmaris City Council, was quoted in the piece as saying that they had opened up an appeal against the area’s loss of protected natural heritage site status but that construction was nonetheless taking place in the meantime.

The links leading to the original report and other news websites that reported the same news have been blocked from access from within Turkey by court order for insulting the president, SoL said.

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