Press Freedom

MLSA objects to the broadcast ban imposed after the Taksim explosion

The Legal Unit of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) has objected to the broadcast ban imposed by the İstanbul 10th Criminal Judgeship of Peace after the explosion in Taksim. MLSA lawyers requested that the ban be removed as it violates the freedoms of the press, expression and communication guaranteed by the Constitution as well as the principle which states Turkey is a social state governed by the rule of law.

On 13 November 2022, the İstanbul 10th Criminal Judgeship of Peace imposed a broadcast ban at 6.27 PM after an explosion at Beyoğlu’s İstiklal Avenue at 4.20 PM. Following the broadcast ban, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) decided to throttle access to several social media platforms which rendered the platforms inaccessible. The throttling which lasted 10 hours ended early this morning, however the broadcast ban still continues.

Petitioning the İstanbul 10th Criminal Judgeship of Peace, MLSA’s Legal Unit objected to the broadcast decision ban, which was “taken in an unlawful manner” and which “results in the violation of constitutional rights” and requested that the ban be removed. In their petition, MLSA lawyers emphasized that the throttling of the access to social media platforms which accompanied the broadcast ban created more fear and panic among the public.

MLSA lawyers argued that the ban violates the Constitution’s Article 22 which guarantees freedom of communication; Article 26 which guarantees freedom of expression and dissemination of thought and Article 28 which guarantees freedom of the press. The lawyers further argued that as the ban decision was taken in such a way which could not be foreseen legally, it also violates Article 2 of the Constitution, which states that “Turkey is a social state governed by the rule of law.”

In the petition, it was stated that “The intervention in question that is a broadcast ban on a subject which is of interest to the public is not only a block on access to news but also constitutes an annihilation of the news source of the masses; a direct intervention to the right to information and to the freedom of forming an opinion by keeping individuals away from information sources and thereby also constitutes a restriction on the right to public participation.”

*This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. The work may be used and redistributed for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution to the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA).