Erdogan threatens to take action against “harmful” media content

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns against tougher action against the media. © Domenico Stinellis/AP/dpa

Erdogan to take legal action against the publication of content in the media that is incompatible with moral and national values. Critics see a tightening of censorship.

Istanbul – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that his government would take tougher action against the media.

A directive signed by Erdogan and published in the Official Journal states that “necessary measures” would be taken against “harmful content” in the “written, oral and visual press”. These were not specifically named. The aim is to minimize a “destructive effect” on society, including children and young people.

Critics: Turkey tightens censorship

According to critics, the new directive threatens to tighten censorship in Turkey. “The right to freedom of expression guaranteed in the constitution must not be destroyed. The policy has no legal basis, but in practice it means more pressure/censorship,” lawyer Veysel Ok wrote on Twitter.

Turkish media are largely under the direct or indirect control of the government, and control over content on the Internet has also been tightened time and time again. In 2020, Parliament passed a law that would allow tighter controls on Twitter, Facebook and other social media.

The country’s Minister of Justice, Abdulhamit Gul, who has been in office since 2017, also resigned today. Erdogan replaced Gul with Bekir Bozdag from his ruling party. Bozdag, who was justice minister between 2013 and 2017, thanked Erdogan for the post on Twitter. The Turkish statistical office TurkStat also got a new boss in Erhan Cetinkaya, according to the official gazette. Sait Erdal Dincer previously held the post for a year. dpa

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