Digital crime and punishment: Turkish online journalism under siege
YazarBaybars Hawks, Banu
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Turkish mass media since its beginnings in late 19th century has aimed to gain its role as the fourth estate in Turkish political scene. The freedom of press has been at the paramount of discussions since the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. Between 1980 and 2000 Turkish media grew more and more liberal and was able to express discontent publicly exercising its checks and balances function. On the other hand the conservative majority of AKP government the governing party in Turkey brought back pressures on the Turkish media since the 2000s. Digital media as the new developing platform in Turkey for expressing rights and freedoms is under siege by government as well. The government's definition of digital crime and punishment is mostly unnoticed by the average citizen but despised by the young population. This paper intends to show the invalidity of disproportionate use of punishment and illegitimate definition of cybercrime in contemporary democratic systems that target online media professionals and outline how Turkish authorities can reverse the process by adopting alternative strategies of prevention. Under this perspective it also assesses the compliance of Internet legislation and practices in Turkey with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights as well as the case law of the European Court of Human Rights.