Journal of International Relations, European, Economic and Social Studies
Some overseas-based Kurdish TVs broadcast via satellite. However, the progovernment tone of TRT has recently intensified, especially with respect to news programming. During the AKP tenure, TRT is heavily slanted in favor or the government in power and their supporters. No news critical of the government is likely to make it into the news broadcasts. These broadcasts reflect the new ideological status quo, i.e., a mixture of religion-tinted conservatism, superficial liberalism and the pragmatic governmental line. Repressive Laws and Regulations The Penal Code Reporting of legal matters is one of the main causes of prosecution of journalists, based on the Penal Code’s article 285 (legal confidentiality) and 288 (trying to influence the result of a trial). The right to be informed is unfortunately not a priority in Turkey. Article 285 punishes “anyone who violates the confidentiality of an investigation” including journalists between one and three years imprisonment. Additionally, Article 288 provides six months and three years imprisonment for the vaguely defined crime of “making verbal or written statements in public in order to influence a prosecutor, judge, court, expert or witnesses before an investigation and prosecution has concluded with a legally binding verdict.” The nature of the “influence” is not defined, which allows judges to loosely interpret it. For journalists, revealing or publishing details of the prosecution or defence for public’s right to know or even simply commenting on the conduct of the investigation or decisions taken, comes under this article. Journalists criticizing institutions or simply the behavior of police can be imprisoned under article 125 (insults, with heavier penalties when it concerns a representative of the state), 299 (defaming the president) and 300 (insulting symbols of the state). Since taking office in 2002, Erdoğan used Article 8 of the Penal Code concerning “crimes against dignity” and in particular Article 125 on Defamation, against stand-up comedians, political opponents, several political cartoonists, and even against a student theater group. As the only concrete outcome of Mr. Erdoğan’s pledges he made on the balcony on the eve of June 12, all lawsuits were dropped he had lodged against Turkey on the European doorstep
Published on Feb 16, 2012
A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...