Turkey’s government officials have waged a war on the media.
Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s Presidential Communications Director, yesterday proudly announced that a smartphone application called “Disinformation Reporting Service” is available to report people who are sharing “fake news” or “disinformation” online. The Directory also banned “nonaccredited” journalists’ access to the disaster area.
Twitter – which has become a vital public communication application for rescue activities in the region – has also been restricted. Prof. Dr Yaman Akdeniz from the Freedom of Expression Association said the restriction was made by narrowing the bandwidth. Netblocks, a non-governmental organisation which follows global internet access, also confirmed the ban saying: “Confirmed: Real-time network data shows Twitter has been restricted in #Turkey; the filtering is applied on major internet providers and comes as the public comes to rely on the service in the aftermath of a series of deadly earthquakes.”
Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority did not comment on the issue.