A newsstand is seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19, 2018. CPJ and other press freedom groups recently called on Turkey's ad regulator to lift a ban on advertising in two leftist dailies. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

CPJ joins call for Turkish authorities to lift advertising ban on leftist dailies

By Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative on February 7, 2020 9:51 AM ET

CPJ joined representatives from the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, and the European Federation of Journalists yesterday in a joint statement calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government ads in print media, to lift its ban on advertising in critical leftist dailies Evrensel and BirGün.

The agency has banned advertisements in both dailies since September 2019, according to media reports.

CPJ joined the other press freedom groups and representatives of Evrensel and BirGün in a delegation yesterday to the agency’s Istanbul office. Rıdvan Duran, the Press Ad Agency’s director, told the delegation that the dailies had violated technical regulations, but denied that they were being discriminated against for their editorial line. He said the papers can resolve those issues and once again be eligible to receive government advertising.

In its statement, the delegation said, “Rıdvan Duran has given his assurance that the bans are not politically motivated and can be swiftly resolved. It is imperative that he is true to his word and that the advertising bans are swiftly lifted.” The groups told Duran during their meeting that they would continue to monitor the situation regarding the dailies, and said that the ad agency’s practices are not transparent enough for an institution that uses taxpayers’ money.

To read the entire statement, click here.

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