The End of Taraf: The Liberals Have Outlived their Usefulness for the AKP

December, 2012, The Turkey Analyst

The mood among the few remaining, scattered liberal voices in the Turkish media landscape is gloomy in the wake of the resignation of Ahmet Altan, the editor-in-chief of the liberal daily Taraf, the media “sword” of the campaign that broke the power of the military. As far as the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) is concerned, the “mission” of Taraf was accomplished when the generals were safely tucked away in prison. Altan had since become a leading, fierce critic of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his departure from Taraf is yet another reminder that the space for critical expression in Turkey is being systematically narrowed.