Turkey blocks two major Western news websites — Analysis

The country’s media watchdog blocked access to VoA and DW after they refused to obtain a broadcasting license

Turkish Broadcasting Authority, (RTUK), has blocked both the website of Deutsche Welle (DW), and Voice of America (VoA), the German radio station. This is after both outlets were unable to apply for a broadcasting licence or modify their websites to conform to local laws.

Both media outlets posted instructions to their social media accounts in response to the ban, telling users howTo circumventThe restrictions. Commenting on the ban, DW’s director, Peter Limbourg, vowed to challenge the regulator’s move in court.

“DW will take legal action against the blocking,”Limbourg stated this in an interview with Financial Times. The Turkish media watchdog has been repeatedly told by the outlet. “why it could not comply with the request to obtain a permit, including the fact that licensed media in Turkey are required to delete content that the watchdog deems inappropriate,”He added.

Turkish leader calls out ‘main threat to democracy’

VoA’s parent, US Agency for Global Media USAGM (USAGM), has denounced the ban as an act against humanity. “censorship”Turkish authorities. RTUK made an “alarming choice”According to USAGM’s Acting CEO Kelu Chao in a statement: “We are trying to restrict the internet.”

“Audiences in Turkey deserve access to fact-based news about the world around them. Despite this latest attack on press freedom, USAGM will not be deterred in its mission to support the free flow of information to people in Turkey and across the globe,” Chao added.

RTUK requested that DW, VoA, and Euronews get broadcast licenses within 72 hours. This was citing a 2019 regulation which has significantly expanded the power of the media watchdog. The targeted news outlets all refused, insisting this was a violation of the media watchdog’s power. “censorship.”

“Licensing is the norm for radio and TV broadcasting, because the broadcast spectrum is a finite public resource, and governments have a recognized responsibility to regulate the spectrum to ensure it is used in the broader public’s interest. The internet, by contrast, is not a limited resource, and the only possible purpose of a licensing requirement for internet distribution is enabling censorship,”VoA stated in a statement that they were making at the time.

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While DW provided a similar take on the situation, Euronews eventually caved in to RTUK’s pressure, making amendments to its website. In mid-April, the Turkish media watchdog canceled its request for licensing to Euronews.

Numerous journalist organizations have already condemned the blockade of VoA and DW. The German Journalists’ Association (DJV), for instance, has urged Berlin to put pressure on Turkey to overturn the ban.

“The imposition of an access ban on Deutsche Welle cannot be explained by anything other than the sheer arbitrariness of the Erdogan autocracy,”Frank Uberall, president of DJV, stated that DW is providing the services he claimed. “independent and critical journalism.”

German Representative of Reporters Without Borders, Christian Mihr, provided a similar opinion, accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of seeking to expand its “constant attacks on independent media”You can also target international outlets.

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