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Turkey aims to extend media powers to content providers

Turkey aims to extend media powers to content providers

Turkey will expand the powers of its radio and television watchdog to include overseeing online content providers, under a draft law submitted to parliament on which the main opposition party said amounted to digital censorship, reports Reuters. “The regulation would allow the RTUK watchdog to halt audio and video material streamed online, social media posts and films offered by internet-based providers like Netflix if they are deemed a threat to national security or moral values.” President Tayyip Erdogan and his government have been criticised by opposition parties, rights groups and Western allies who say he has sharply curtailed freedom of speech and basic freedoms, especially in the wake of a 2016 coup attempt. The main opposition secular Republican People Party (CHP) has criticised the proposed expansion of the watchdog’s powers. “(This) is the prevention of broadcasting by denying licences through RTUK. We live in the digital world,” CHP spokesman Bulent Tezcan said. Turkey’s Transport, Maritime and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan said earlier this week the regulation was not aimed at censoring “work being done within our normal moral values”, but rather at “preventing wrongs”. “Freedoms are not limitless... If a broadcast that can harm the country’s national security, survival, and our people’s moral judgements is being done, then it is interfered with,” Arslan told reporters. Read more

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

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