Turkey: 72 hours for western media to obtain license

Turkish authorities for radio and telecommunications Rtuk has given 72 hours of time to Euronews, Deutsche Welle and Voice of America to obtain a license necessary for the Turkish version of their sites to continue to be online, according to independent site T24, which quoted statements released by Ilhan Tasci, a member of Rtuk.

Tasci said that, if the foreign sites will not file a request for a license, their sites will be blacked out in a few days.

“Rtuk is using its authority for the first time on international media”, Tasci wrote on Twitter, stressing that the institute also has the task of supervising the web since 2019 and that “news that are not controlled can’t exist”.

Turkish television channels are regularly fined by Rtuk, especially over programs where criticism is expressed against the government which are deemed to go against “national values”.

With these motives, just a few days ago, seven private broadcasters were sanctioned, including Tele1, which was at the center of a recent controversy after the arrest of journalist Sedef Kabas who is accused of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for citing a proverb during a program broadcast by the channel. The reporter was jailed in January 22. A few days later, the office of the presidency of the Republic issued a document saying that “measures” will be adopted against television programs broadcasting content aimed at “damaging national, moral, social and family values”.