08 Aug 2016 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 18 Jul 2016 n° 75/2016 Turkey

News Portals Shutdown by the State Regulator

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ Index
In the last 72 hours, following the attempted coup in Turkey, on 15 July 2016, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK, the State regulator) has shut down 20 independent online news portals, including Haberdar, Meydan, Medyascope, Gazeteport, Rotahaber, ABC, Karşı, etc. Visitors to these online news sites are faced with the following message: "After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the law Nr. 5651, administration measure has been taken for this website according to decision Nr. Xxxx dated 17/07/2016 of the Presidency of Telecommunication and Communication.” The shutdown has been strongly criticized by the Turkish Union of Journalists (TGS).
Updates
08 Aug 2016
• 04/08: Access to Özgür Gün TV’s is blocked for a second time by the Telecommunications Directorate (TİB) • 04/08: The TİB also blocked access to Özgür Gündem’s website for the third time since 26 July • 07/08: The Jin News Agency (JINHA) is closed for the eighth time
27 Jul 2016
The websites of Dicle News Agency (DİHA) and Özgür Gündem were blocked by order of the Information and Communication Technologies authority (TİB) due to "administrative injunction" on 27 July 2016. Such a blocking is not the first of its kind since DiHA has been blocked 43 times this year and Özgür Gündem twice.
Follow-ups
01 Oct 2017
The CoE Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that any restrictions on access to Internet content should be based on a clear and predictable framework affording guarantee of judicial oversight to prevent possible abuses.
20 Jul 2016
Regretting “ that journalists were once more victims of violence, at the hands of coup plotters, as well as of citizens resisting them, and that access to several news media on the internet were blocked once more”, the Commissioner for Human Rights said that he “will be closely monitoring the situation in the coming days”.
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