Pressure targeting media in Turkey continued in March 2018, in duration of the State of Emergency Rule that was started on July 20, 2016.
Detention, arrest and arrest warrants of journalists in Turkey has continued in March 2018. Accusations have varied from social media activities to publications being considered as terrorism propaganda. Access blocking, broadcast bans, restrictions to information, targeting of media freedom have all continued during the State of Emergency Rule.
Increasing number of arrested journalists
According to Independent Communications Network Media Monitoring Report dated February 6, 2018 there were 128 journalists behind bars in Turkey. According to Turkish Journalism Union (TGS) this number was 145 by February 17, Contemporary Journalists Association’s March 17 report suggested 135 journalists in prison; finally Platform24’s March 30 data stated that there are 151 media laborers behind bars in Turkey.
Putting internet regulations under Radio & TV Higher Council’s (RTÜK) authority
One of the most striking developments that have targeted media in the month of March was RTÜK regulating the internet. Law that is publicly known as “extended censorship bill” has been passed at the Turkish Grand National Assembly allowing online series & movie streaming platforms to be put under state regulation inflicting censorship and restrictions.
VPN services to be targeted
A presentation has been held at the Substance Abuse Commission of the Parliament focusing on the VPN service during which Levent Gönenç of Information & Telecommunications Council has stated “we are currently working on a solution, we have already taken serious precaution against this (VPN) and have warned the internet service providers”.
Doğan Media Group sold
Doğan Media Group has been sold to Demirören Holding which is known for its support for governing party. Many journalism organisations have evaluated this sale not only as a simple economic transaction but a level in increasing pressure targeting media in Turkey.
Data Visualization: Mehmet Şafak Sarı
Translation: Gürkan Özturan