It's fairly well known that government/AKP-aligned actors have taken an increased share of control of Turkish media, be it directly through acquisitions or through advertisement revenue.

I'm curious however, how did this alleged development happened, in support of the Turkish government's new foreign policy on Egypt:

In a surprising development, Turkey-based media channels opposed to the Egyptian regime announced the suspension of all political programs attacking President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his regime, based on directives from the Turkish government.

It seems a bit surreal that media channels would just put out statements that they won't be attacking al-Sisi anymore. So what exactly did happen?

  • Are you asking specifically about what interaction between the Turkish government and Turkish media outlets led to the statements described by the quote in your question?
    – JJJ
    Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 19:30
  • @JJJ: That an what exactly the stations did. The quote implies they engaged in some "self-critique" on air too. Commented Sep 26, 2021 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


I'm still unsure how all that went, but it's a bit more clear whose programmes were shut down: some Egyptian journalist dissidents:

In March, Erdogan's advisers demanded popular Egyptian exiled talk show hosts, such as Moataz Matar and Mohamed Nasser, tone down their criticism of Egypt's leader.

Previously convicted in absentia to 10 years in prison each and placed on Egypt's terrorism list for "attempting to overthrow the regime", the flamboyant anchors were forced to shut down their programmes, giving their audiences emotional farewells.

They are still regularly described as "traitors" and "terrorists" by pro-Sisi media.

Among Sisi's supporters, their sidelining was seen as a crucial ideological victory.

"Turkey asking the Egyptian opposition to stop its (media) campaign against the Egyptian government is quite significant for Egypt," said Ibrahim Awad, a public policy professor at the American University in Cairo (AUC).

But he expressed doubt that Matar and Nasser would be extradited.

The channel on which Matar was hosted is itself owned by an exiled Egyptian politician, Ayman Nour. Apparently the requests were not openly acknowledged by the Turkish goverment:

Ayman Nour, a liberal opposition figure and former Egyptian presidential candidate, told Reuters Turkish officials told him they wanted the TV stations to practice “objectivity and not to attack or criticise people”.

Turkey’s foreign ministry did not comment on the reported request, which would mark a first concrete step by Ankara towards easing tensions with Cairo. [...]

Nour’s Al-Sharq television is one of three prominent Egyptian opposition channels in Istanbul, including Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist-leaning stations, whose programmes have irritated the Cairo government.

The El-Sharq bit is confirmed by the US-based Al-Monitor using an internal source with the station. However, the Watan TV, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood kinda played down the affair:

The [El-Sharq TV] Egyptian journalist said he was surprised when the channel's director requested a meeting for all employees and senior anchors. The director, he said, claimed a "high-level Turkish party" requested that the day's episode be canceled and that the channel stop targeting and criticizing the government in Cairo and Sisi himself.

The source added, “And this was indeed what happened. We announced the postponement of the programs that were scheduled for that day, including the show of Egyptian actor-turned-TV presenter Hisham Abdullah, whose program was canceled just 40 minutes before going live." [...]

Some Brotherhood-affiliated media figures played down the extent of the request. Medhat al-Haddad, a Muslim Brotherhood leader and director of Watan TV channel, one of the Brotherhood-affiliated channels broadcasting from Istanbul, told Al-Monitor via phone, "The Brotherhood channels in Turkey are working normally at the moment.” [...] "They only asked us to reduce the number of political programs and broadcast more diverse social programs. [The Turkish authorities] said their request was because of a current understanding between the two Egyptian and Turkish sides, and we completely understand this,” he added.

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