Report by Turkish newspaper on banning access to news story also banned by court

A report by Turkey’s Cumhuriyet daily on a court decision to ban access to a previous story on a corruption case involving ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials was also banned by an İstanbul court on Thursday.

“This verdict made history both in law and the media profession,” was Cumhuriyet’s comment on the ruling.

The original report on April 10, 2017 revealed that three members of the AKP’s İstanbul branch had won tenders worth TL 145 million ($29 million) held by local municipalities governed by the AKP in the last five years.

A court ruled to ban access to this report at the request of the AKP officials, Cumhuriyet reported on Feb. 22, 2018.

Another İstanbul court also banned access to the new report today, again at the request of the AKP officials.

Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 240 journalists and media workers were in jail as of July 24, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 179 were under arrest pending trial while only 61 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 144 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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