International Press Institute (IPI) representatives joined journalism organizations, media professionals, and citizens who gathered in the heart of Ankara, Turkey, on June 22 to protest against a bill on disinformation submitted to the parliament by the governing alliance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). IPI and other organizations have warned that the law would lead to a new wave of censorship in Turkey and have criticized the fact that the bill was drafted behind closed doors, a troubling development considering the draft’s introduction of new sanctions that, among other things, threaten imprisonment for any citizen deemed to “distribut(e) deceptive information publicly”.
12 local journalism organizations* led a demonstration in front of the Atatürk Monument to demand withdrawal of the draft bill. Speaking in front of the crowd, the chairperson of the Association of Journalists, Nazmi Bilgin, stated that “this bill contradicts fundamental human rights, freedom of information and freedom of the press. This bill, in fact, contradicts the Constitution and the rights it bestows on the citizens. It constitutes an impediment for the access to rights not just by journalists but by the society at large as well.”