Türkiye bans access to VOA and DW broadcasters

Türkiye's media regulator blocked access to the Turkish language services of Voice of America (VOA) and Deutsche Welle (DW) websites after the international public broadcasters refused to apply for licenses the regulator had requested.

In February, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) gave both institutions three days to apply for a license and announced that their websites would be audited if they did not apply for a license.

At the request of RTÜK, two websites that did not apply for a license were blocked by the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on June 30. Those who tried to access both websites were faced with the statement "Access was blocked by the decision of Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace dated 30/06/2022 and numbered 2022/7982."

The licensing request was based on a regulation that went into effect in August 2019.

According to a regulation on the "Presentation of Radio, Television and Optional Broadcasts on the Internet" published in the Official Gazette on Aug.1, inspections of the watchdog will include movies, series on digital TV platforms such as Netflix, and social media platforms that deliver news on a regular basis. The regulation covers news broadcasts on YouTube, but not individual YouTube feeds.

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