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.
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'.