Article 19, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) today reported to the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of journalism the new wave of censorship targeting certain media outlets’ websites in Turkey (read our submission here).
On 25 July 2015, the Ankara Gölbaşı Penal Court of Peace ruled to block 96 Kurdish websites in Turkey, many of which were news websites, after receiving a complaint from the Turkish Communications Authority that the websites were spreading terrorist propaganda.
Among the blocked news websites were ANF (Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê – Fırat News Agency), DİHA (Dicle Haber Ajansı – Dicle News Agency), ETHA (Etkin Haber Ajansı – Etkin News Agency), the local online newspapers Yüksekova Haber, Rojnews, Özgür Gündem, and the leftist website sendika.org.
The website blocking comes at a time of a crackdown on free expression in Turkey in the wake of a terrorist bombing in the Turkish town of Suruc, which is located near the border with Syria.
Together with several media organisations, the Journalists’ Union in Turkey (TGS), an affiliate of the IFJ and the EFJ, will organise a meeting in Diyarbakir, on Monday, to support the censored journalists. TGS and its partners launched the news portal “engellenemez.org” in order to allow the blocked media to continue to inform their readers.
“The EFJ welcomes engellenemez.org and calls on again the Turkish authorities to stop the censorship and the intimidation against journalists,” said today Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, president of the EFJ. “Together with the TGS representatives, we express our solidarity to our Kurdish colleagues working under high pressure in the Şırnak and Hakkari provinces.”
(Picture credit: TGS)