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Turkey is blocking access to Deutsche Welle and Voice of America

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The Associated Press

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Zeynep Bilginsoy

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish media watchdogs have access to Turkish services from US public service broadcaster Voice of America and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Banned. Criticism of censorship.

The Supreme Commission on Radio and Television enforced a February decision requiring international media to apply for a broadcast license to broadcast Turkish television content online. Ankara court decided late Thursday to restrict access to the state-owned Deutsche Well and Voice of America websites.

In a statement on Friday, Deutsche Welle stated that it did not comply with licensing requirements because it "allowed the Turkish government to censor edited content." ..

Secretary-General Peter Limbourg said this was explained in detail to the Turkish radio and television station (RTUK for short).

"For example, media licensed in Turkey should remove online content that RTUK deems inappropriate, which is unacceptable to independent broadcasters. DW Will take legal action against the current blocking, "says Limbourg.

Ilhan Tasci, an RTUK member of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, said he opposed the move to block two foreign broadcasters. He said the board had applied for access restrictions to the court.

"Here is the freedom of the press and a high degree of democracy," he tweeted ironically.

The Turkish Journalists Union has called for censorship of the decision. "Give up trying to ban everything you hate, this society wants freedom," it tweeted.

In February, RTUK announced that it had identified three websites without a broadcast license. This includes Euronews' Turkish service. However, Euronews said it claimed to be exempt from licensing requirements because it did not broadcast live in Turkish or airborne bulletins.

Voice of America also said in February that radio and television licenses are standard, but internet bandwidth is not limited, as broadcast radio is a finite resource.

"The only possible purpose of the Internet delivery license requirement is to enable censorship," VOA said in a statement.

Licensed because broadcast spectrum is a finite public resource and the government recognizes its responsibility to regulate the spectrum for more widespread use. Is the standard for radio and television broadcasting. National interests. In contrast, the Internet is not a limited resource, and

Turkey was rated "not free" in 2021 by the FreedomHouse in the FreedomSiONet Index. Hundreds of thousands of domains and web addresses are blocked.

A borderless reporter said that "every means is used to undermine critics," including deprivation of press card journalists, online censorship, litigation, and arrest. The index ranked Turkey 149th out of 180 countries.


Frank Jordan from Berlin contributed.