OSCE urges Turkey to lift advertising ban on Evrensel Daily Newspaper

March 25, 2020 10:30 AM

 

 

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, voiced his concern today regarding the advertising ban imposed by the Press Advertising Agency (BİK) on the Evrensel daily newspaper. Désir made his call ahead of the newspaper facing the deadline for regaining the right to publish public advertisements, which expires on 28 March 2020.

In September 2019, BİK, the agency responsible for the distribution of state advertising, enacted an indefinite ban on Evrensel, reportedly because the daily newspaper had broken rules against bulk purchasing. BİK later rejected Evrensel’s appeal against this decision, even though Evrensel had allegedly made the changes requested of them.

“I am concerned by this ban imposed on Evrensel, whose journalists have already faced many obstacles in the past. It is particularly worrying that, for the past six months, no sustainable solution was found on this important issue,” Désir said.

The Representative stressed that a pluralistic and vibrant media landscape is indispensable to any democratic society. He expressed his hope that the authorities will not use any economic measures to silence critical media. “I call on the authorities to lift the advertising ban, which poses a threat to the existence of the Evrensel daily,” Désir said.

Désir noted that 24 international press freedom organizations (including Reporters Without Borders; the International Press Institute; Article 19; Human Rights Watch; the Committee to Protect Journalists; the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom; the European Federation of Journalists; the International Federation of Journalists; the Journalists’ Union of Turkey; and PEN International) have also called for an immediate end to the public advertising ban on Evrensel.

 

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