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A one-to-five-year prison sentence for distributing “fake news” on social media ?

Legal Correspondent: Jimli Sarma

August 17, 2021: According to a report by pro-government daily Turkiye, the administration proposes to establish prison penalties ranging from one to five years for posting and disturbing fake news on social media.

According to Turkiye, the new law will include the penalties of ‘disinformation’ and ‘misinformation'. It further stated that individual who conducted slander will ne sentenced to three months to two years in prison.

Recep Tayyip Erdoan, the president and leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced last month that his party was working on a new law to combat what he called “the terror of lying”

According to Turkiye, the new law also includes the creation of a regulating agency known as the “Presidency of Social Media”. It will ne associated with either the Radio and Television Supreme Council ( RTUK) or the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK).

However, according to Turkiye, several AKP officials pointed out that the BTK already has an Internet Department, and the anticipated social media regulator could be established within this department.

Turkey’s print and broadcast media regulating bodies have been accused of abusing their power to punish media outlets critical of the government.

The RTUK levied 22 administrative penalties against various TV channels in the first half of the year, all of which are known for their critical coverage of the government.

Newspapers critics of the government received 88 percent of all the Press Advertisement Institution (BK), the body in chaos putting public advertisement and announcements in newspapers, in the previous year.

Last year, Turkey passed its first “social media law,” requiring all major platforms to appoint legal representatives and retain user data in the nation.


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