Turkey prosecutors seek jail terms for two Bloomberg reporters

The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the US. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 14 June 2019
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Turkey prosecutors seek jail terms for two Bloomberg reporters

  • Prosecutors accuse the two reporters of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability
  • An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for Sept. 20

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors are seeking a jail term of up to five years for two Bloomberg reporters who had written about how authorities responded to last summer’s currency collapse, the US-based news agency reported.
The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the United States.
Prosecutors accuse the two reporters, Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic, of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability, Bloomberg said late Thursday.
The news agency’s editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said: “We condemn the indictment issued against our reporters, who have reported fairly and accurately on newsworthy events. We fully stand by them and will support them throughout this ordeal.”
An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for September 20.
Turkish media reported 50 others, including journalists and columnists, were also indicted for commenting on the currency crisis on their social media accounts.
In April, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Western media coverage of the country’s economy after a Financial Times report questioned the central bank’s management of foreign currency reserves.
Turkey’s economy has slipped into its first recession in a decade after a currency crisis last year battered the lira, leaving foreign investors jittery over the government’s policies to manage growth.


Twitter blocks accounts of Iranian state media outlets

Updated 21 July 2019
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Twitter blocks accounts of Iranian state media outlets

  • Twitter said the accounts harassed people linked to the Baha’i faith
  • The Baha’i faith is a religious minority that has long faced persecution in Iran

WASHINGTON: A day after Twitter suspended the accounts of several Iranian state media outlets, the social networking service said Saturday it acted after harassment of people linked to the Baha’i faith.
Amid soaring tensions in the region, heightened by Iran’s seizure on Friday of a British-flagged tanker, some of the affected media outlets had speculated that the suspensions were related to their coverage of the seizure.
But Twitter cited what it said was the coordinated and targeted harassment of people linked to the Baha’i faith, a religious minority that has long faced persecution in Iran.
It did not name the suspended accounts, and said it was continuing to investigate the matter.
“Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules,” read English-language messages on each of the Iranian media outlets’ accounts.
Mehr news agency, which is close to moderate conservatives in Iran, said its Farsi-language account appeared to have been blocked late Friday following its reports on the seizure of the tanker Stena Impero in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it seized the Swedish-owned tanker for breaking “international maritime rules” in the strait, a chokepoint for around a third of the world’s sea-borne oil.
Mehr’s Farsi-language Twitter page was inaccessible on Saturday, along with those of the official IRNA news agency and the agency of the Young Journalists’ Club.
“Since last night and after seizure of a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz the account of the Young Journalists’ Club and some other users have been suspended,” the YJC said on its website.
Mehr noted that its Mehr Diplomacy account, which publishes analysis and interviews on foreign policy, was also offline.
Another account taken down belonged to Ali Akbar Raefipoor, a hard-line public speaker.
None of the owners of the suspended accounts said they had been given any reason for the move by Twitter.
The micro-blogging platform is banned in Iran, but many officials still have accounts and people access them by using a virtual private network, or VPN, to bypass censorship.