Newspapers are seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19, 2018. CPJ recently joined other press freedom groups in calling on Turkey's ad regulator to lift its ban on the leftist daily Evrensel. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

CPJ joins calls on Turkey to lift ad ban on Evrensel daily

By Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative on March 16, 2020 9:55 AM ET

CPJ joined the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, the European Federation of Journalists, and 20 other Turkish and international groups in a joint letter today calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government advertisements in print media, to lift its ban on advertising in critical leftist daily Evrensel, as promised at a meeting with CPJ and other organizations in Istanbul on February 6.

In the letter sent to Rıdvan Duran, the Press Ad Agency’s director, the groups urged him "to make good on your promise and to ensure the prompt lifting of the ban on Evrensel prior to the end of the six month deadline.” The letter also mentioned that three separate limited bans have been issued against the newspaper since September, and added that “further penalties would strongly suggest that [the regulator] BIK is being used to punish Evrensel for its independent reporting.”

The letter noted that Evrensel had remedied the technical violations that Duran cited during his February meeting with press freedom groups, but the ban had not been lifted. The letter also requested that Duran publish annual reports on the distribution of the agency’s funds, and said that the regulator’s practices are not transparent enough for a tax payer-funded institution.

To read the entire letter, click here.

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