12 Aug 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 07 Aug 2019 Turkey

Court Imposes Access Block on News Portals and Social Media

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index IPI
On 16 July 2019, the 3rd Peace Judge at Ankara, Hasan Demirtaş, ordered the blocking of access to 136 internet resources, including “bianet” and “Gazete Fersude” news portals, under Article 8/A of the Internet Act relating to grounds of "national security". The ban targets 15 websites and dozens of social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest. It prevents access to at least 200,000 news stories on “bianet”, which has been broadcasting since November 2000. The main journalists' organisations in Turkey (TGS, TGC, DISK Press, CGD) have criticized the order as being unlawful and arbitrary.
Updates
New 12 Aug 2019
Court documents obtained on 7 August 2019 by bianet’s lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu revealed that the complainant Gendarmerie Command had applied to the Ankara 3rd Criminal Judgeship of Peace on 17 July, stating that bianet.org was erroneously included in the list and requesting that the court decision be revised accordingly. The court, in response, issued a decision saying the order to block access to bianet.org was removed while the decision remains valid for the remaining 135 web URLs. In remarks published by bianet, bianet’s lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu said neither of the court decisions had been communicated.
Follow-ups
07 Aug 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative raises concern and calls to end blocking of Bianet and other social media and news sites in Turkey
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