Turkey's gradual transition to democracy under the rule of a moderate Islamist party has prompted much praise, along with a concerted effort -- particularly by Ankara -- to promote the Turkish model as a template for the post-Arab Uprising states. Indeed, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has achieved much since ascending to power a decade ago.
Democratic plaudits, however, miss a gaping crack in the democratic structure the AKP has built: the government's frontal assault against freedom of the press.
Turkey has become one of the world's top violators of press freedom. The most recent ranking from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) places Turkey at 148 out of 179 countries. That is worse than Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Gambia, among others.