Turkey lambasted over treatment of journalists

Protesters rally against the arrest of media activists in Istanbul, Turkey. (Reuters)
Updated 11 March 2019

Turkey lambasted over treatment of journalists

  • Germany said Turkish authorities refused to issue to several journalists the permits needed to report from the country
  • It also updated its travel advice for Germans travelling to Turkey

BERLIN: Germany’s foreign minister criticized Turkey for refusing to issue credentials to foreign reporters, saying in an interview published on Sunday that such actions were “not compatible with our understanding of press freedom.”
The comment by Foreign Minister Heiko Maas followed several foreign correspondents recently having applications to renew their accreditation to work in Turkey rejected.
They include Joerg Brase, a correspondent for German public broadcaster ZDF, and Thomas Seibert, a reporter for Berlin-based daily Tagesspiegel.
“If journalists are prevented from doing their work, then that’s not compatible with our understanding of press freedom,” Tagesspiegel quoted Maas as saying.
“Without press scrutiny, (there can be) no free democracy,” the German minister added. Maas’ office updated its travel advice late Saturday for Germans planning to go to Turkey, citing Turkey’s treatment of foreign reporters
“It can’t be ruled out that the Turkish government will take further measures against representatives of German media as well as civil society organizations,” the ministry said.
The ministry also cited Turkey’s “arbitrary arrest” in recent years of German citizens suspected of links to banned groups, such as the network of a Turkish cleric who lives in the US. Turkey accuses Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers of being behind a 2016 coup attempt.
The detentions of two German-Turkish journalists — Die Welt’s Deniz Yucel and Mesale Tolu — on terror-related charges led to a diplomatic crisis in 2017. Yucel was held for more than a year without being inducted and left Turkey after he was released. Tolu was allowed to leave in August.
In its 2018 press freedom index, advocacy group Reporters Without Borders ranked Turkey 157th out of 180 countries. Maas said Germany would continue to discuss the issue of press freedom with the Turkish government.
“We have a great interest in a functioning dialogue with Turkey, so that such critical questions can be discussed as well,” he said.


REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

Updated 17 August 2019

REVIEW: Second season of Sacred Games mirrors the ills of today's India

CHENNAI: The first season of “Sacred Games” last year was a hit, and the second edition, which began streaming on Netflix on Aug. 15, may be even more so.

The eight episodes explore some of India's most pressing current issues such as a nuclear threat, terrorism and inter-religious animosity dating back to the country's 1947 partition. It. It also addresses how religious men can indulge in the most unholy of acts, including helping corrupt politicians.

Some of the greatest films have had conflict and war as their backdrop: “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” “Ben-Hur” and “Garam Hawa,” to mention a few. The second season of “Sacred Games” also unfolds in such a scenario, with terrorism and inter-communal disharmony having a rippling effect on the nation.

Directed by Anurag Kashyap (“Gangs of Wasseypur,” “Black Friday”) and Neeraj Ghaywan (“Masaan,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015), the web series, based on Vikram Chandra's 2006 novel, unfolds with Ganesh Gaitonde (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) escaping from prison and finding himself in Mombasa. He has been carted there by an agent of India's

Research and Analysis Wing, Kusum Devi Yadav (Amruta Subhash), who forces him to help find Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), the mastermind behind bomb blasts and terror attacks.

In Mumbai, police inspector Sartaj (Saif Ali Khan) has just two weeks to save the city from a nuclear attack, which Gaitonde had warned him about. Both men love Mumbai and do not want it to be destroyed. But religious extremist Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) and his chief disciple Batya Ableman (Kalki Koechlin) believe that only such a catastrophic destruction can help cleanse society and bring a cleaner, saner new order.

A narrative of deceit, betrayal, love and longing, the second season has a plodding start, but picks up steam from the fourth episode, with Sartaj and his men racing against time to find a nuclear time bomb that could wipe out Mumbai. Crude dialogue and a constant doomsday atmosphere could have been avoided, but riveting performances by the lead pair – Khan and Siddiqui (though he is getting typecast in this kind of role) – and nail-biting thrills make this Netflix original dramatically captivating.