In a letter addressed to Rıdvan Duran, the general director of the Public Advertising Agency (BİK), which is the authority in Turkey responsible for the distribution of state advertising, 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.
On March 28, 2020, the six-month deadline for Evrensel to regain its right to publish public advertisement will end. According to BİK regulation, should the ban last for a full six months, Evrensel faces being removed from the system for at least three years, which would be catastrophic for its financial stability.
Last week, 24 international and local press freedom organizations sent a joint letter to Duran calling the ban to be lifted. In February an International Press Institute IPI-led delegation met with Duran and raised concerns about how advertising bans on independent newspapers were being used by the authorities to stifle the free press in the country.