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Turkish parliament passes media law setting jail terms for "disinformation"

14.10.2022, 13:10
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Turkiye's parliament on Thursday adopted a law proposed by President Tayyip Erdogan that would jail journalists and social media users for up to three years for spreading "disinformation," writes Reuters.

The law was adopted despite deep concerns over free speech.

Lawmakers from Erdogan's ruling AK Party (AKP) and its nationalist ally MHP, which together have a majority, approved the bill even as opposition lawmakers, European countries and media rights activists called for it to be scrapped.

As IMI reported, in June, the website of the Deutsche Welle media company was blocked in Turkiye. The according decision was made by the court in Ankara, explained a representative of the board of the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).

RTÜK required foreign broadcasters to apply for an Internet broadcasting license. According to DW, such a move "would allow the Turkish government to censor editorial content" and would be "unacceptable for independent media." The company's position was laid out "in a large correspondence and even in a personal conversation with the head" of the Turkish media regulator, DW CEO Peter Limbourg emphasized.

In recent years, Turkiye has tightened the state's control over mass media. RTÜK has the right to require licensed media outlets to remove online content that the department deems unacceptable. About 90 percent of the main mass media in the country are now connected to the state, according to the Reuters agency.

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