Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the daily BirGün over “disinformation” regarding the reportings on Pasifik Construction and its relation with Istanbul’s Eyüpsultan District Municipality run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Accordingly, BirGün’s İsmail Arı first reported in December that Pasifik Construction bought two lands from the municipality for 1.7 billion liras. However, according to the report prepared by the company, the value of the lands was exactly 5.3 billion liras.
In January, Arı reported that an Istanbul court canceled the development plans of the municipality in Kemerburgaz, affecting the Pasifik’s acquisitions as well.
The owner of Pasifik Construction, Fatih Erdoğan, whose wife is also an AKP deputy, filed a criminal complaint against the reportings.
Accepting the complaint, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into the daily BirGün over “publicly disseminating misleading information” and “slandering and insulting” and summoned BirGün journalists to testify.
In December, the Turkish parliament passed the “disinformation law” that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling party said would protect the public. Critics say the law could be abused by authorities in order to stifle dissent.
The law carries a jail sentence of up to three years for anyone who spreads false or misleading information. Erdoğan's AKP and its nationalist MHP allies argue it aims to combat disinformation. However, it raised concerns of a further crackdown on the media.