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Turkey blocked access to all Deutsche Welle websites. In addition, the VOA website in Turkish is no longer available.
Public broadcasters in Germany and America are being punished for not complying with the new rules introduced by the Turkish government this year.
Media companies that provide news in Turkish, even if they are foreign organizations, have to apply from now on for a license in Turkey. This puts them directly under the supervision of the Turkish media watchdog RTUK.
Implications for independence
Both news organizations refused to apply for the Turkish license due to concerns about the consequences for their independence. “In Turkey, licensed media are required to remove content if RTUK finds it objectionable. This is unacceptable for an independent news organisation,” said Peter Limburg, Director of Deutsche Welle.
The blockade of two famous foreign news organizations is seen as another blow to press freedom in Turkey. According to human rights groups, repression in the country is on the rise in the run-up to elections scheduled for June next year
Turkish language channels
Turkish media has been under tight state control for some time. Almost all major media outlets are owned by businessmen associated with Erdogan’s government. Precisely for this reason, media such as Deutsche Welle and Voice of America started Turkish-language channels. They want to balance the pro-government media.
Deutsche Welle announced that it would take legal action against the blockade. Both Deutsche Welle and Voice of America have shared information on their social media channels about how Turkish audiences can still view websites over a VPN connection.
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