Duvar English 

In response to a lawsuit filed by the Modern Journalists Association (ÇGD) in order to stop changes in a regulation that made it easier for the government to cancel press cards, a lawyer for the presidency defended their position by stating that it is in fact not required by law in Turkey to hold a press card in order to practice journalism. 

Regulations concerning press cards changed last year with a signature from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in which journalists displaying “conduct against the public order and national security” could have their press cards revoked. 

The ÇGD appealed to have these regulations cancelled, and in their defense at a hearing at the Supreme Court, the presidency’s lawyers submitted a petition that included the statement that it is not required by law in Turkey to hold a press card in order to engage in journalistic activities. This is the case both for Turkish journalists and foreign nationals. 

The regulations have also made it more difficult to obtain a press card, while large numbers of journalists critical of the government in recent years have had their press cards revoked or their applications for renewal denied. 

After the dissolution of the prime ministry, the issuing of press cards was transferred to the authority of the presidency last year. A commission established by the presidency responsible for issuing the cards is composed of journalists from a number of state-run and pro-government outlets and newspapers.