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Meanwhile, the government continued to use the financial and other leverage it holds over media owners to influence coverage of politically sensitive issues.

Several dozen journalists, including prominent columnists, lost their jobs as a result of such pressure during the year, and those who remained had to operate in a climate of increasing self-censorship and media polarization.

Censorship in Turkey is regulated by domestic and international legislation, the latter (in theory) taking precedence over domestic law, according to Article 90 of the Constitution of Turkey (so amended in 2004).

President Tayyip Erdoğan has arrested hundreds of journalists, closed or taken over dozens of media outlets, and prevented journalists and their families from traveling.

Bianet recorded the censorship of 101 websites, 40 Twitter accounts, 178 news; attacks against 21 journalists, three media organs, and one printing house; civil pursuits against 28 journalists; and the six-fold increase of arrests of media representatives, with 24 journalists and 9 distributors imprisoned.

The increased criminalisation of the media follows the freezing of the Kurdish peace process and the failure of AKP to obtain an outright majority at the June 2015 election and to achieve the presidentialisation of the political system.

On the date of Bianet's publication, 61 people, of whom 37 journalists, were convict, defendant or suspect for having insulted or personally attacked the then-PM, now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Bianet's final 2015 monitoring report confirmed this trend and underlined that once regained majority after the AKP interim government period, the Turkish government further intensified its pressure on the country's media.

The Press Law changed, sentences and fines were increased.

Several newspapers were ordered shut, including the dailies Ulus (unlimited ban), Hürriyet, Tercüman, and Hergün (two weeks each).

Regional censorship predates the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

On 15 February 1857, the Ottoman Empire issued law governing printing houses ("Basmahane Nizamnamesi"); books first had to be shown to the governor, who forwarded them to commission for education ("Maarif Meclisi") and the police.

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