Turkey: Broadcasting Council cuts access to Deutsche Welle and Voice of America

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Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has blocked access to the Turkish service of US state network Voice of America and German public network Deutsche Welle because they did not apply for broadcast content licenses as required by the Turkish electronic and digital watchdog. media, said a member of yesterday Thursday.

In February, both DW and VoA announced that they would not apply for licenses as required by RTÜK under Turkish media law, which critics of the Turkish government say is actually aimed at censorship.

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RTÜK member Ilhan Tasci, who is affiliated with the Republican People’s Party (CHP, official opposition), said via Twitter that access to Deutsche Welle’s Turkish service and VOA’s Turkish service was blocked by court order at the request of the broadcaster’s board of directors. .

According to Mr. Tassi, the decision was taken by a court in Ankara on the grounds that the two foreign media “did not submit applications to be granted licenses”.

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“Here’s to your free press and entrenched democracy!” he added sarcastically.

Most of the mainstream media in Turkey are considered close to the government, and their coverage is invariably favorable to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his political allies. Many Turks are turning to alternative sources, some abroad, and social networking sites for information.

RTÜK, which is dominated by the ruling Justice & Development Party (AKP) and its allies, frequently announces fines for media outlets critical of the government.

Debate in Turkey’s parliament on the media bill, which opponents of the government have dubbed a “censorship law,” has been postponed until the fall, when Turkey’s national delegation will resume work, AKP lawmaker Mahir Yunal said. the week.

Turkey has for years topped the world rankings for the number of journalists in jail and has been criticized by both its Western allies and human rights groups for a spate of abuses. Critics of Mr. Erdogan’s government also point out that he is using the failed military coup of July 2016 as a pretext to suppress any dissent. The government rejects these accusations and maintains that the measures it is taking are necessary because of threats to Turkey’s national security.


Source: Capital

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