Turkish court blocks access to alternative websites of Deutsche Welle

A Turkish court has blocked access to alternative websites Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish upon the request of the media watchdog RTÜK, after it failed to apply for a broadcast license amid censorship concerns.

Duvar English

An Ankara court on Nov. 17 blocked access to alternative websites of Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish for not applying for licenses upon Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council’s (RTÜK) request.

One year ago, the main Turkish-language website of the DW was also blocked for the same reason, but the news outlet continued reporting in alternative websites.

The move came after the RTÜK imposed a 72-hour limit for the DW Turkish to apply for a publication license for its alternative websites “dwturkce.com” and “inspiredminds.de”.

The news outlet did not apply for a license, as its conditions were incompatible with German laws and could lead to censorship. 

The news outlet had to shut down its Turkey office at the end of March after the Industry and Technology Ministry refused to extend its operation license on the grounds that "it chose its field of activity incorrectly.” in line with the opinion of the Presidential Communications Directorate.

The RTÜK regulation enacted in 2019 requires foreign news outlets that publish in Turkey to apply for publication licenses. The news outlets are bound by multiple conditions for RTÜK to approve their applications.

As part of the regulations, companies are forced to remove the content deemed inappropriate by RTÜK.

In line with Law 6112, RTÜK licenses television channels, radio stations, and video-on-demand content in addition to monitoring their content.