Media in Turkey
A controversial social media legislation has enabled the Turkish government to swiftly block access to scores of news reports from critical newspapers and websites within the past month. "What we are facing is a heavy censorship mechanism,” cyber-rights expert Yaman Akdeniz told the daily Cumhuriyet.
Online music streaming giant Spotify launched an application for an operation license in Turkey on Oct. 15, complying with the country's media watchdog. "Four hours before the 72-hour period elapsed, Spotify made an official application to RTÜK for a license," RTÜK council member from main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) İlhan Taşcı said in a tweet.
RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin was appointed to Halkbank board membership after resigning from TÜRKSAT board membership and will receive multiple salaries as a result. "I asked the general manager of Halkbank about what kind of benefit they're expecting from Şahin, who doesn't know anything about economics or finance. They didn't respond," CHP deputy Atila Sertel said.
Newspaper circulation in Turkey declined by 48 percent between 2013 and 2019, according to a report prepared by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). The number of media workers also dropped rapidly within the same period, from 51,843 in 2013 to 36,263 in 2019.
Turkey's media watchdog issued 73 percent of broadcast interruption fines to the same four news broadcasters that are critical of the government, a report by non-governmental organization Transparency International revealed.
Turkey's June inflation rates exceeded experts' expectations at 1.13 percent, almost double the estimates. Meanwhile, annual inflation reached 12.62 percent.
Turkey has blocked access to journalist Can Dündar's online radio station "Özgürüz" and its website ozguruz20.org. Dündar announced on Twitter that the radio will continue to broadcast on ozguruz21.org.
The Antalya Bar Association has come out in opposition to a development plan for the Mediterranean coastal village of Olympos. The status of some of the areas around Olympos was recently downgraded in the protection index by Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Turkey’s media watchdog head backtracks on earlier remarks, says death threats on TV are ‘unacceptable’
RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin has backtracked from his earlier remarks on the unnecessity of fining a pro-government channel over an Islamist commentator's remarks on her family's “capability” to kill at least 50 people if a new coup attempt is undertaken in Turkey, saying that the remarks are "unacceptable." No one should doubt that the RTÜK will do what's necessary in line with its founding objectives," Şahin said on May 18 following backlash.
Turkey's media watchdog RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin has refused to fine the pro-government Ülke TV channel over Islamist commentator Sevda Noyan's remarks on her family's “capability” to kill at least 50 people if a new coup attempt is undertaken in Turkey. "If a penalty will be given, it should not be one that makes coup lovers and praisers happy," Şahin said. "We're not in a position to sentence the statements made against those who praise a coup," he added.
Netflix has removed an episode of “Designated Survivor,” in which a fictitious Turkish president is portrayed as a villain, from its service in Turkey following a demand by the Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK). The episode in question, the seventh one of season two, is still available on Netflix in all other countries.
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.
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.