AKP seeks to enforce online media to reveal source of funds

A new draft bill by the ruling AKP that targets social media will also regulate online news outlets, forcing each medium to list their sources for funding, the daily Hürriyet reported on Oct. 10.

Duvar English

A new draft bill being prepared by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) seeks to regulate online news outlets, mandating each one to list their sources of funding in the masthead, the daily Hürriyet reported on Oct. 10.

In a new meeting concerning the draft bill, officials from the Transportation Ministry, Justice Ministry, the Presidential Communications Directorate, Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) and AKP discussed the details of the regulation. 

The bill will reportedly inspect whether social media activity is organized or targeted at a specific goal before prosecuting users with sentences including prison time. 

On the other hand, online media outlets will be mandated to provide a masthead including an address and funding sources, as well as becoming subject to the Press Law. 

Funding of online media platforms became a topic of tension in the past months as Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun signalled regulations. 

The AKP also seeks to impose more fines for the publication of "fake news," and promote the inclusion of online news portals to said sanctions. 

The legislation aims to require large social media platforms' Turkey representatives to be Turkish nationals on the grounds that it will facilitate contact: Ankara mandated in a 2020 bill that all large social media sites assign local representatives, essentially placing the businesses under Turkish jurisdiction.