Turkish measures against ‘market manipulation’ threaten free press, CPJ says

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Monday Turkish authorities should revise a recently passed financial regulation to ensure that it cannot be used against journalists.

Turkey’s banking watchdog last week laid down new definitions for currency manipulation which defines spreading what it calls misleading or wrong information on financing assets by media outlets or on social media as manipulation.

“The ambiguity in Turkey’s new banking regulations, along with the arbitrary nature of deciding what reports may be harmful to the country’s banking system, threaten independent reporting on the country’s economy,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, in New York.

“Turkish authorities should revise the regulations and ensure that journalists covering matters of economics and finance can do so freely and without fear of retaliation,” she said.

Turkish media has been particularly hard hit in a government crackdown following the July 2016 coup attempt. Dozens of journalists have been imprisoned or harassed with legal challenges and critical media outlets have been forced to self-censor or shut down.