Twitter back online after software glitch disrupted services

LONDON: The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), Turkey’s media and telecommunications regulatory authority, has given three international broadcasters 72 hours to obtain broadcast licenses or have their content blocked in Turkey.

The three outlets were French outlet Euronews, US broadcaster Voice of America and German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Ilhan Tasci, RTUK board member who announced the decision yesterday, condemned the move on Twitter, calling it another attack on media freedom in Turkey.

“A decision was made by majority vote to grant the amerikaninsesi.com, dw.com/tr and tr.euronews.com websites 72 hours to obtain licenses,” Tasci said.

It is believed to be the first time RTUK has used its regulatory power over online news outlets.

The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the decision and urged the Turkish authorities to allow all news outlets to work freely without subjecting them to regulation, harassment or censorship.

“The ultimatum reported by Turkey’s media regulator to Euronews, Voice of America, and Deutsche Welle is concerning and could severely limit their ability to work in the country,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator.

“The media shouldn’t have to guess at government licensing requirements; RTUK must immediately disclose any changes affecting these broadcasters and give them sufficient time to comply with the new policies.

Deutsche Welle said it was aware of press reports about the decision, but had not received any official notification from the regulator.

Powers granted to RTUK in August 2019 allow it to impose fines, suspend broadcasting for three months or revoke broadcast licenses if licensees fail to meet its requirements.

In October 2020, RTUK asked music streaming service Spotify to apply for a license and also gave the company 72 hours to comply.