Access ban on FreeWeb's Bilal Erdoğan news lifted after MLSA's high court victory

Following an application by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) to the Constitutional Court, an access ban on news articles and tweets about Bilal Erdoğan published by FreeWebTurkey (FreeWeb) has been lifted.

The access ban was initially placed in 2023 on two news articles and two tweets shared by FreeWeb regarding Bilal Erdoğan, son of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and reports by Reuters. The banned content was posted on the censorship-monitoring platform FreeWebTurkey in June of the previous year. These bans were requested by Bilal Erdoğan.

The MLSA's legal unit challenged the access ban in the Constitutional Court. Reviewing the application alongside similar cases, the Constitutional Court ruled on November 22, 2023, that the bans violated freedom of expression and the right to an effective remedy, citing the lack of effective means to contest these restrictions.

As a result of this ruling, the access bans on the four pieces of content were lifted on June 13, 2024, by the decision of the Istanbul Anadolu 10th Criminal Judgeship of Peace.
Background of the ban

In June 2023, Reuters reported on an investigation into claims that a company sought to gain a foothold in the Turkish market through connections with Bilal Erdoğan. Following the publication of these reports, access to the articles was blocked.

FreeWeb covered the access bans with articles titled "Access ban on Reuters' report about Bilal Erdoğan: A misleading and ill-intentioned report" and "Reuters appeals court's decision on Bilal Erdoğan," and highlighted the issue in their "Censorship Agenda June 26 - July 2." These contents were subsequently blocked on July 20, 2023, upon Bilal Erdoğan's request by the Istanbul Anadolu 10th Criminal Judgeship of Peace. The Constitutional Court’s decision to lift the ban followed an application made during this process.


Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.