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    Committee to Protect Journalists: Turkey Must Stop Censoring Sputnik

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    Turkey Bans Sputnik News Agency Website (25)

    In a letter to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, US nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists said that Ankara should put an end to the censorship of Sputnik News, and also criticized the Erdogan government's crackdown on other press outlets.

    "We also call for the reversal of the censorship of the website of the Russian state news agency Sputnik, and all news websites, and for the stopping of all government attempts to control the information accessible to Turkish audiences," the letter reads.

    The organization stressed that it was concerned with the multiple reports of the Turkish government clampdown on press freedoms.

    "We urge you [Cavusoglu] to affirm that the foreign press will continue to be welcome in Turkey without undue or burdensome bureaucratic barriers," the committee said.

    The letter encourages Ankara to immediately drop travel bans and lift  bans on media websites.

    The Turkish government blocked the Sputnik News website last month without notice, citing "administrative measures."

    "We received no notifications, warnings or other messages from the competent authorities," Turkish bureau chief Tural Kerimov said at the time.

    One week later, Kerimov was forbidden from entering the county and had his press credentials stripped at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul.

    "[Authorities] gave me a paper that says that I'm a passenger whose entry is prohibited in Turkey. The paper doesn't contain any explanation. My press card and residence permit were also seized, and I was asked to go to Russia on the next flight," he said.

    In Janurary 2015, the Turkish government earned the authority to block any type of internet resource without a warrant on the grounds of "national security, protection of social order, or for the prevention of crime." In 2015, 14 Turkish journalists were imprisoned, and Zaman, one of the country's largest opposition newspapers, was shuttered by the government.

    Days before Ankara's decision, Radio Sputnik's Liston to This program won an award from the Turkish Journalists' Association.

    Turkey Bans Sputnik News Agency Website (25)


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