Turkey blocks access to two German and US media outlets

On the heels of the NATO summit, Turkey has cut access to broadcasters Deutsche Welle and Voice of America in a move that could spark tensions with its Western allies. 

An Ankara court on Thursday night ordered the blocking of the websites of the Turkish-language version of German and American public broadcasters Deutsche Welle (DW) and Voice of America (VoA) as a penalty for not applying for licenses under the country’s media regulation. 

“Access to DW Turkish and Voice of America, which did not apply for a license, was blocked by the Ankara Criminal Judgeship of Peace upon the request of the RTÜK Presidency,” said İlhan Taşcı, a board member of the controversial Turkish media regulator RTÜK, on Twitter

“Here is freedom of the press and advanced democracy!”

A few days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed to align his views with his NATO allies’ by lifting his country’s objections to the candidacy of Sweden and Finland to join the military alliance, the conservative leader risks stern words from his democratic partners over his renewed crackdown on freedom of expression. 

DW and VoA refused to apply for licenses in February over concerns about undue government interference. DW argued that “licensing would have allowed the Turkish government to censor editorial content.” A 2019 law grants RTÜK more control over the online content and websites of media organizations. 

RTÜK is dominated by Erdoĝan’s conservative AKP party and allies, and it regularly sanctions organizations critical of the government. 

Turkey’s press freedom has particularly deteriorated in the last year and ranks 149th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index. Most Turkish media outlets are run by the government or companies closely connected to it, and the international Turkish-language press remains one of the last options to obtain alternative news. Beyond traditional media, Erdoğan’s government has also pushed to increase control over social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. 

Journalists and press organizations widely lambasted the decision. The Progressive Journalists Association (Çağdaş Gazeteciler Derneği) described the ruling as “disgraceful” and a sign of the government’s “intolerance to objective journalism.”

DW said it would challenge the ruling.



Source by [author_name]

Latest

Today’s Wordle #426 clues and answer for Friday, August 19

Wordle has become a worldwide phenomenon, with millions of...

Australia PM says reduction of Bali bomber’s sentence upsetting

Prime Minister Albanese says the potential release of Umar...

Watch SpaceX launch 53 Starlink satellites, land a rocket at sea today

SpaceX will launch 53 more of its Starlink internet...

‘Most have thrown their hands up’: has the US forgotten about Covid?

Despite signs that indicate the latest Covid-19 surge is...

Activate Nord Stream 2 ASAP, says German parliament vice president

Germany should allow the blocked Nord Stream 2 pipeline to begin pumping Russian natural gas so "people do not have to freeze in winter...

US to give 8 combat, transport helicopters to Czech Republic

The United States will donate eight Bell helicopters to the Czech Republic, Prague's Defense Minister Jana Černochová said. Speaking to Czech TV on Thursday...

Putin, Xi will attend G20 summit, Indonesian president says

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are both planning to attend the G20 summit in Bali in November this year, Indonesian...