The Turkish government introduced a new law in parliament that will give the government more control over the internet. The law was drawn up by President’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Growth Party (AKP) and its ally the Nationalist Movement Celebration (MHP).
The law, which is expected to pass, will punish “ distributing misinformation on purpose. ” This prohibits publicly spreading “ false information regarding internal and external security, public order and the general health of the country, in a way that is suitable for disturbing the general public peace, simply for the purpose of developing anxiety, fear or anxiety among the people. ”
The punishment with regard to intentionally spreading “ fake information” will be one to three years in prison. If the courtroom finds that a person spread false information as part of an organization that is illegal, the word will be doubled.
Journalists might also be arrested under the new law regarding hiding sources who provided them “ false information. ”
Under the new law, web-only mass media outlets will be allowed to sign up as periodical media books. While that makes them appreciate some of the privileges of traditional media, like press credit cards, they will be required to follow several rules. For instance, they will be needed to remove content the government believes false and must store their publications, which allows the government to more easily block entry to their websites.
“ To the request of the ministries, the President may decide to remove the content and/or block access to end up being fulfilled within four hours regarding broadcasts on the internet, ” the new law states, talking about the President of the Details and Communication Technologies Power.
The law furthermore updated the regulations upon official press cards. The old regulations, which were created by the Communications Directorate, which answers to the president, gave the federal government the authority to cancel press cards of media who criticized the government.
The new law may create a Press Card Commission, which will have nine users, five from the Communications Directorate and the others will be associates from journalists’ unions and academics.
The draft bill was seriously condemned by journalists. In a joint declaration , the Turkish Panel of the International Press Company, the Journalists’ Association, as well as the Journalists’ Union of Turkey said that they were “ concerned that it may lead to one of the most severe censorship and self-censorship systems in the history of the republic, we call for the immediate withdrawal of this bill, which usually seems to have been designed to raise the pressure on journalism, not ‘ fight against disinformation. ”