Turkish court blocks access to news websites

Bianet reported that the Ankara court has ordered the blocking of 136 websites on 16 July, including news outlets Bianet, ETHA news agency, Halkın Sesi TV, Özgür Gelecek, osp.org, geziyisavunuyoruz.org, Gazete Fersude, Yeni Demokratik Gençlik, Umut Gazetesi, Kızıl Bayrak, Marksist Teori, Direnişteyiz, and Mücadele Birliği and their online streaming services on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. ‘Notice no. 3096743 dated July 16, 2019, sent by the Ministry of Interior General Command of Gendarmerie requested access to the mentioned URL addresses be blocked on the ground that they constitute the offenses in Article 8/A of the Law No. 5651.’ However, at the time of publication, the order was not implemented, and the justification of the action was not made clear. Bianet announced that it had appealed the order. Such an action was condemned for censoring news and stifling the opposition. ‘We call on the Turkish authorities to stop their ongoing campaign of censorship of the country’s independent media and allow people to get their news from wherever they wish’, noted the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Programme Director, Carlos Martinez de la Serna.