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Concern mounts about potential Turkish regulation on media funding

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ISTANBUL (AP) — Press freedom teams expressed concern Friday about feedback by Turkish officers about potential laws to control international funding for media and the dissemination of faux news, saying it might additional curtail unbiased journalism in Turkey.

A high aide to Turkey’s president mentioned this week that the nation wants a regulation on media retailers that obtain international funds. Director of Communications Fahrettin Altun mentioned international media funding deserves scrutiny when it comes from international locations that “brazenly specific their intentions and efforts to design Turkish politics.”

“We is not going to enable fifth column actions underneath new guises,” Altun mentioned.

Turkish journalists flying again from a state go to to northern Cyprus this week reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s celebration deliberate to evaluate later this 12 months whether or not the nation wants a regulation in opposition to disseminating faux news. They quoted Erdogan as saying Turkey must combat the “terror of lies.”

The feedback got here as a adverse social media marketing campaign focused unbiased press outlet Medyascope and its founder, veteran journalist Rusen Cakir, for receiving funds from the U.S.-based Chrest Basis. The non-public philanthropy group has additionally funded non-profit organizations and foundations working in arts, tradition and variety.

Media Freedom Fast Response and 23 allied teams mentioned in a press release Friday that international funding was a vital supply of revenue for unbiased news retailers in Turkey as they face authorities strain. Mainstream Turkish media is generally run by companies near the federal government.

“Taken collectively, these statements create the impression that the Turkish authorities is making ready to introduce new authorized measures that can additional undermine media freedom and pluralism within the nation,” the assertion mentioned.

However Altun mentioned related rules apply in america, the place media retailers funded by international international locations should present data on actions to U.S. authorities. Turkey’s state-funded English-language broadcaster TRT World was required to register as a international agent final 12 months underneath the Overseas Agent Registration Act for lobbyists and public relations corporations working for international governments. TRT then mentioned its carried out new sathering and reporting like some other worldwide media.

Reporters With out Borders’ World Press Freedom Index ranked Turkey at 153 out of 180 international locations in 2021. The Journalists’ Union of Turkey says 38 media employees stay behind bars.

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