International press groups, including the International Press Institute (IPI), PEN International and Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), on June 15 urged Turkey to release Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent from prison ahead of June 21 that marks his 1,500th day behind bars. "We call on Turkish authorities once again to stop this injustice!" they said.
TV news sources like Fox and NTV – along with critical voices like Cumhuriyet and Sözcü – are highly rated for trust in Turkey, according to a fresh research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The study found that pro-government media outlets such as A Haber, Sabah and Show TV are trusted the least among Turks.
Turkey has blocked access to journalist Can Dündar's online radio station "Özgürüz" and its website ozguruz20.org. Dündar announced on Twitter that the radio will continue to broadcast on ozguruz21.org.
A Turkish court on June 16 arrested Voice of America reporter Arif Aslan hours after he was detained in the southeastern province of Van. The reason for the detention and arrest remains unknown. Media reports said that he was arrested over a previous case into him.
A court has ruled for the arrest of Oda TV Ankara News Editor Müyesser Yıldız four days after she was detained over "political and military espionage." TELE 1 Ankara correspondent İsmail Dükel, who was detained on the same day, was released on condition of judicial control.
Turkish police on June 8 detained two journalists, TELE 1 Ankara correspondent İsmail Dükel and Oda TV Ankara News Editor Müyesser Yıldız, over unknown reasons. According to Oda TV, Yıldız was detained as part of an ongoing military espionage case launched by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. It also said that searches were carried out at her house and all of her digital materials were seized.
Turkish TV host Metin Uca was sentenced to more than 14 months in prison on the charges of "insulting an officer on duty" because of tweets that called out Ankara's official news agency on releasing results of the 2018 election before counting was over. The TV host said that his intention was to "speak up against the manipulation of the narrative and to make sure volunteers stayed with the ballots."
Turkish factchecking organization Teyit revealed that pro-government Demirören News Agency used a manipulated picture in its report on a Greek flag being hung on an Ottoman mosque. Teyit said that the photograph DHA released had been taken in 2015 and that the flag had been digitally added to the image.
Turkey’s state broadcaster launches Russian news platform to fight ‘disinformation and manipulation’
Turkey's state-run Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has started broadcasting news on its new Russian language platform that will play "an active role in fighting disinformation and manipulation as a reliable source of news in the Russophone world with its quality journalism." It will monitor "the pulse of the region through local correspondents in many localities over a wide geography and especially in Moscow."
Turkey’s media watchdog has penalized a program on the pro-government Ülke TV with a three-time broadcast cancellation over on-air comments of an Islamist TV commentator that her family would be able to “take out at least 50 [coup supporters]” if another coup attempt were to occur.
Turkey's Press Advertisment Agency (BİK) has imposed a 35-day ban on sending ads to the daily Cumhuriyet for reporting on an illegal construction facilitated by Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on a patch of land that he rented in Istanbul. The Cumhuriyet article, which was used as the ground that the ban was justified, is currently inaccessible in Turkey without using a VPN.
A member of Turkey’s media watchdog council said that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) attempts at manipulating the news cycle no longer worked. The councilman noted that Ankara’s media outlets are ineffective as there is a dramatic gap between their narrative and the reality of the citizens’ lives.
Evening news anchorman for FOX TV Fatih Portakal slammed pro-government news outlet Yeni Asır for their reporting that Portakal had illegal construction on his land in the western province of Izmir. Portakal said that the structures alleged to be illegal were a chicken coop, garage and a wooden deck, and slammed the news outlets for releasing the asdress and photos of his land and jeopardizing the safety of his family.
Dersim Mayor Mayor Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu claims that three leading pro-government news agencies in Turkey, have been imposing a de facto embargo on the province. Maçoğlu told the daily BirGün that although local reporters send their stories from Dersim, the headquarters would not publish them. Maçoğlu is the only mayor in the country elected from the Turkish Communist Party (TKP).
Istanbul prosecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Birgün columnist Erk Acarer over a report covering the funeral ceremony of an operative of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MİT) killed in Libya. Acarer, who is now living in exile in Germany, is one of the eight journalists standing trial in the case.