Access to OdaTV has been blocked as a result of “an administrative order” imposed by the Turkish Telecommunications Authority (BTK). The move came after two OdaTV journalists were arrested over charges of violating intelligence laws by disclosing the identity of an intelligence operative even though an opposition MP had revealed the name a week prior to the publication of the OdaTV story.
Four employees from Russian outlet Sputnik Türkiye have been detained over the weekend following the Syrian army's Feb. 27 attack on a Turkish convoy in Idlib where over 30 soldiers died. The editor-in-chief of Sputnik Türkiye was briefly detained a day after the homes of three employees were attacked by nationalistic groups.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has scolded a reporter working for Fox TV, a media outlet critical of the government, over a question on Turkish soldiers in Libya. "Fox should be a newspaper first. It should be a serious member of the press. You need to learn this. Quit producing fake news," Erdoğan said.
The Google News Initiative, which claims to support quality journalism around the world, has selected the pro-gov't Demirören Media Group as the Turkish media group that it will support with funding in its GNI Innovative Challenges Project. The Demirören Holding company is known for being close to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The opposition daily Evrensel newspaper has been handed a ten-day advertisement ban by the Press Advertisement Agency (BİK) after it published a story last year criticizing the agency for making it impossible for Kurdish-language newspapers to thrive in the country.
The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) organized a protest in front of the Presidential Communications Directorate in Ankara to condemn the ongoing investigations into over 800 journalists despite the reversal of some's press cards getting cancelled. Turkey's Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun denied that some cards had been cancelled and said that press cards of 894 journalists are awaiting 'meticulous inspection'.
Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate has cancelled press cards of many journalists working for opposition newspapers Birgün, Evrensel and Cumhuriyet. A number of journalism organizations slammed the cancellations, urging the authorities to backtrack on their "unlawful" decision.
British Embassy in Turkey hosted a panel discussion on media in the digital age titled "Media in the Digital Age: Challenges and Opportunities" that was supported by the Chevening Alumni Programme Fund (CAPF). The panel was hosted by British Ambassador Dominick Chilcott at the British Embassy Residence.
The Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS) said that 250 journalists went on trial in the country in 2019 due to their reporting and they received 133 years imprisonment in total. Turkey is the world's second largest jailer of journalists after China with 108 journalists behind bars, said a report released by the main opposition CHP deputy Çakırözer on the occasion of January 10 Working Journalists’ Day.
After criticizing Islamist writer and Yalova University lecturer Ebubekir Sifil for defending polygamy, the Youtube news channel Babiali TV has been temporarily prevented from broadcasting after copyright complaints from Sifil and another prominent Islamist. Sifil had previously stated that men have the right to have multiple wives in different provinces.
Five journalism and publication organizations have highlighted the problems the media sector in Turkey has been going through, saying the number of unemployed journalists in the country currently exceeds 11,000. The meeting also said that approximately 12,000 journalists have faced prosecution between 2003-2018.
Journalists from the opposition daily Sözcü received up to three and a half years in prison for aiding the Gülen organisation. "There are no concrete documents that show I knowingly aided the Gülen organisation. It's impossible that we would stand with people who trade religion and Allah," said author Necati Doğru. The secular daily is known with its hard-drawn Kemalist stance, a school of thought that supports the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his take on secularism.
Fatin Dağıstanlı, a presenter for Islamic fundamentalist Akit TV, has called for bombing daily Cumhuriyet, prompting opposition lawmakers, press groups and bar associations to slam the move. "Let's gather altogether and throw a hand grenade in front of daily Cumhuriyet," Dağıstanlı said, sparking outrage on social media, with many users urging prosecutors to take action against him.
A regulation concerning the mandatory licensing of internet broadcasting went into effect on Aug. 1 on this year, creating fears that this would lead to censorship of internet content including that which is broadcasted on streaming sites like Netflix and Turkey's BluTv. RTÜK denied accusations that fees are a step towards censorship and requested that the lawsuit to cancel the regulation be thrown out.
Turkey's Press Advertisement Institution has been blocking the ads of opposition dailies Evrensel and Birgün in a move that journalists describe as an attempt to silence critical media. "They are carrying out a system that aims to eliminate the newspapers as a whole," Birgün Board Chairman İbrahim Aydın told Duvar, while Evrensel Editor-in-Chief Fatih Polat said that the press institution has been implementing a systematical siege on the newspapers critical of the government.