Social media company Twitter has suspended the account of Özgür Gündem, a pro-Kurdish daily that was closed down by a Turkish court in 2016 on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda.
A Turkish court in August 2016 ordered the interim closure of Özgür Gündem for alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), spreading “terrorist propaganda” on their behalf and waging a war against the state.
Özgür Gündem, along with 14 other media outlets, was shut down in line with a post-coup government decree on Oct. 29, 2016. Turkey experienced a failed coup attempt in July 2016 following which the government, among other things, closed down around 200 media outlets on the pretext of an anti-coup fight.
Turkish prosecutors launched investigations into 37 journalists, academics and activists for acting as “editors-in-chief on duty” for the Özgür Gündem daily in 2016.
It is common for Twitter to suspend the accounts of critical media outlets or journalists at the request of the Turkish government, attracting widespread criticism of the company.
According to a transparency report published by Twitter analyzing removal requests from January 2018 to June 2018, 135 accounts of verified journalists and news outlets were the subject of legal demands worldwide. The majority of these requests originated from Turkey, which specified 90 of these accounts. Twitter reportedly withheld two accounts due to violations of Turkey’s anti-terror law. (SCF with turkishminute.com)