Netflix has removed an episode of “Designated Survivor,” in which a fictitious Turkish president is portrayed as a villain, from its service in Turkey following a demand by the Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK). The episode in question, the seventh one of season two, is still available on Netflix in all other countries.
Turkey's media watchdog penalized a news show on the opposition news broadcaster Halk TV with a five-time broadcast cancellation and a monetary fine. A member of the watchdog council from the main opposition CHP İlhan Taşcı slammed the watchdog institution for what he deemed to be obvious bias.
Turkish prosecutors have sought a prison sentence of up to three years for journalist and news anchor Fatih Portakal, alleging that he broke the law in a Tweet which implied that the state was borrowing from banks amid economic difficulties exacerbated by the coronavirus epidemic. In their indictment, prosecutors accuse Portakal of violating banking legislation. Portakal hosts one of the most popular programs in the country is among the few dissenting voices that remain in mainstream media.
Four journalists of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper have given their testimonies to the Istanbul police station over a news report concerning illegal construction undertaken by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s aide Fahrettin Altun on a land in Istanbul’s Kuzguncuk neighborhood. The journalists said that the news piece in question does not have "a purpose of showing Altun as a target" and "was penned for the purpose of journalism."
Turkey's Interior Ministry detained 402 social media users in the past 42 days, on the grounds that they made "provocative comments about COVID-19." The ministry inspected some 6,362 social media accounts, and deemed 855 users "suspicious."
Turkish daily Hürriyet has been subject to criticism over a letter suggesting that the newspaper has been publishing advertorials without placing the disclaimer of 'this is an advertisement.' The newspaper's editor-in-chief Ahmet Hakan has refuted the allegations, saying the letter in question was not printed by Hürriyet itself, but an ad agency, which the newspaper is now reconsidering working with.
Turkey ranked at 154 in a ranking of press freedoms in 180 countries, in decreasing order. Turkey's "the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists," press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) noted in their annual World Press Freedom Index.
A court has blocked access to an online news article which had reported that the Istanbul municipality demolished illegal construction carried out by Turkey’s Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun in Istanbul's Kuzguncuk neighborhood.
Turkey's internet watchdog has banned access to The Independent's Turkish website, a week after Saudi Arabia banned the websites of Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency and state-broadcaster TRT's Arabic service. "There are problems in accessing our website. Some of our readers come across this warning," Nevzat Çiçek said, as he shared the screenshot of the BTK warning on the administrative measure adopted for the website.
An Istanbul court has rejected the appeal against the arrest of OdaTV journalists Barış Pehlivan, Barış Terkoğlu and Hülya Kılınç, who were jailed in March over a report covering the funeral of a member of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT) killed in Libya.
In a letter addressed to Rıdvan Duran, the general director of Turkey's Public Advertising Agency (BİK), ten members of the European Parliament (EP) called for the immediate end to the public advertising ban that has been imposed on daily Evrensel since September 2019.
The head of Turkey's media watchdog has thanked the staff of locally-made TV series and shows for making "sacrifices for citizens” by continuing to shoot their episodes. Ebubekir Şahin's comments come amid the cancellation and postponements of several TV series around the world amid the coronavirus epidemic.
The International Press Institute called on governments around the world to ensure the freedom of the press in their respective countries amid the coronavirus outbreak. The IPI urged governments to allow reporters access to information and officials, ensure that press freedom is not limited under the guise of health precautions, and provide reporters with access to protective gear.
Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that the pro-government newspaper Yeni Akit's referring to actor Müjdat Gezen as “pimp” should be considered within the limits of “the freedom of press and expression.” It thereby lifted a symbolic fine of 3 kurus previously imposed on the newspaper for violating Gezen's personal rights.
OdaTV's editor-in-chief Barış Pehlivan has been arrested on charges of violating state intelligence laws by revealing the identity of an intelligence operative in a story. Pehlivan is the third journalist to be arrested in the case.