On July 6, the SETA Foundation published a report entitled “International Media Outlets’ Extensions in Turkey”. The report has listed the professional backgrounds and social media posts of journalists working at BBC Türkçe, Deutsche Welle Türkçe, the Voice of America, Sputnik Turkey, Euronews Turkey, Independent Turkey and China Radio International (CRI) Turkey. The report has accused these organizations of “carrying out a perception work.” Citing the social media posts and retweets of the journalists, the SETA has also referred to the newspapers and news websites BirGün, T24, bianet, Evrensel, Cumhuriyet, Diken, DW Türkçe and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as “the media that come to the fore with their anti-government news.” (6 July)
The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) and Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) have announced that they will file a criminal complaint against the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) report as the report has caused outrage due to its targeting and blacklisting attitude towards the journalists working in the international media organizations in Turkey (8-10 July)
The Press Crimes Bureau of the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office responded to the complaint of the MLSA on August 1 and has given a ruling of non-prosecution for the report. In the ruling notified to the MLSA, it has been indicated that the elements of the crimes “openly inciting the public to enmity and hatred” as per the Article 214 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and “openly inciting to commit crimes” as per the Article 216 of the TCK did not arise.
The Office has also concluded that the elements of the crime “unlawful recording of personal data” did not arise, indicating that “the information cited in the report about the journalists is not a type of information that is not known by everyone or cannot be accessed easily and the information is related to subjects previously reported in the press.” Regarding the charge of “disturbing individuals’ peace and harmony”, the Office has ruled that the elements of this crime did not arise, either (1 August)