Regarding the amendments made in the Press Card Regulation, Presidency’s Director of Communications Fahrettin Altun said, “The articles that prevent those who propagate terrorism and violence from taking refuge behind their press cards have been strengthened. As we promised, we will continue to improve the press card’s prestige."
“Regulation on Amending the Press Card Regulation” was promulgated in the Official Gazette and entered into force.
The amendments serve to improve the prestige of the journalism profession and the press card while strengthening the articles that prevent people involved in all kinds of crimes, especially terrorism, from holding press cards and that protect the freedom of expression and press along with democracy.
The phrase “provided that he is not convicted for establishing an organisation for the purpose of committing an offence, becoming a member of such an organisation or assisting such an organisation” has been added to the stipulations for the attributes sought of persons to be issued a press card.
It is also among the renewed articles that the press card of persons who tarnish the professional dignity of the press, engage in activities detrimental to national security and public order, promote violence and terrorism, incite or encourage crime and render the fight against crime ineffective, could be cancelled.
“Press Card Commission makes the decision”
Article 25 of the Regulation concerning the cancellation of the permanent press card has been amended as follows:
“In cases where the permanent press cardholder acts in a way that tarnishes the professional dignity of the press by exhibiting methods and attitudes that may overshadow the dignity of his/her title, supports these activities which are explicitly against the national security and public order as defined within the framework of Article 2 of the Presidential Decree on the Organization and Duties of the Secretariat General of the National Security Council numbered 2 or clearly supports such activities, creates content that will promote violence and terrorism, make the fight against all kinds of organisational crimes ineffective, engage in activities that will incite or encourage crime and make the fight against crime ineffective, a decision could be made to cancel the permanent press cards of such persons as a result of the examination and evaluation to be conducted by the Commission. In case of a violation of subparagraphs (c), (ç), (d), (e) and (f) of the first paragraph of Article 6, the permanent press card shall be cancelled by the Commission upon the proposal of the Directorate.
“Stipulation of not being convicted of crimes indicated in the regulation is sought of persons to be issued a press card”
The relevant clauses of Article 6 of the regulation, which regulates the stipulations for the attributes sought of persons to be issued a press card, are as follows:
“c) Not being restricted or banned from public services,
ç) Even if the periods specified in Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code dated 26/9/2004 and No. 5237 have passed; not having been imprisoned for five years or more for a crime committed intentionally or not having been convicted for the crimes of blackmail, theft, forgery, fraud, abuse of trust, false testimony, perjury, slander, fabricating an offence, obscenity, prostitution, fraudulent bankruptcy, embezzlement, extortion, bribery, smuggling, crimes of tender fraud, fraud in the fulfilment of execution, establishing an organisation for the purpose of committing a crime, being a member of or assisting such an organisation and crimes against sexual immunity and the corresponding crimes in special laws,
d) Not having been convicted of terrorist crimes listed in Article 3 of the Anti-Terror Law No. 3713 dated 12/4/1991 and crimes committed with the purpose of terrorism listed in Article 4 or crimes specified in Article 6,
e) Not having been convicted of crimes listed in Articles 213, 214, 215, 216 and 217 of Law No. 5237, crimes against the Constitutional order and the functioning of this order, crimes against the national defence, as well as crimes against state secrets and for espionage,
f) Not having been convicted of the crimes specified in the second paragraph of Article 25 of Law No. 5187 or for inciting or encouraging such crimes."
Fahrettin Altun: "We will keep combatting those who carry out ‘terrorism propaganda’ in the guise of journalism"
Regarding the amendments to the Press Card Regulation, Presidency’s Director of Communications Fahrettin Altun said, “The articles that prevent those who propagate terrorism and violence from taking refuge behind their press cards have been strengthened. As we promised, we will continue to increase the press card’s prestige."
Altun also stated on April 1, 2021, upon the decision of the Council of State to suspend the execution of some articles of the Press Card Regulation that they had started working on a better version of Press Card Regulation, adding, "So long as we are on duty, we will keep combating those who carry out 'terrorism propaganda' in the guise of 'journalism.’ Terror sympathisers should not rejoice in vain."
Altun said that a person who constantly spreads propaganda for the terrorist organisation DAESH would not be issued a press card in any Western country even if he wears himself out by claiming to be a "journalist," and added, "But here in our country, the state is asked to recognise those making PKK or FETO propaganda as 'journalists'! We object to it. We reject this tainted mindset. We will not submit to the violent atmosphere that terrorist organisations, their supporters, and allies are attempting to build. Terrorist organisations are the number one enemy of democracy as well as freedom of thought and press. Our rightful fight will continue."