Media ban on Turkey blasts criticised

Ankara, Oct 16 (IANS) A media ban on the investigation into the October 10 twin bombings in Turkey has been criticised by politicians from three opposition parties and jurists, the media reported on Friday.

An Ankara court on Wednesday issued a broad media ban including “all kinds of news, interviews, criticism and similar publications in print, visual, social media and all kinds of media on the internet” covering the investigation into the deadly attack in the capital Ankara that killed 95 people and injured over 200 others, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

All media outlets in the country have officially been notified of the decision, which brings in one of the broadest recent media bans and is effective immediately.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy group leader Ozgur Ozel said the ban protected the government rather than the evidence in the investigation, as it was introduced five days after the attack took place.

Recalling that a media ban was initiated to ensure security of evidence collection and reaching the perpetrators of the attack, Ozel said that this ban had another aim.

“We all have seen that the evidence was collected on live broadcasts. Many opinions and information were shared, particularly by the prime minister [Ahmet Davutoglu], over the incident. This was a political decision to establish a media ban,” Özel added.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy leader Oktay Ozturk also criticised the ban, saying that it was “now natural” for the government to limit media freedom in Turkey.

Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas defined the ban as “an initiative to hide the cooperation” between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Islamic State (IS).

The Ankara Bar Association officially appealed the court ruling banning media reports on the investigation into the attack.

The appeal was submitted to the seventh Criminal Court of Peace on Thursday, Ankara Bar head Hakan Canduran said.

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