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Turkey Introduces Jail Terms For ‘Fake News’

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Turkey Introduces Jail Terms For 'Fake News'

Turkey Introduces Jail Terms For ‘Fake News’

Turkey’s parliament on Thursday approved a tough pre-election law that could see reporters and social media users jailed for up to three years for spreading “fake news”.

The new rules cement the government’s already-firm grip on the media eight months before a general election that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan enters trailing in the polls.

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The Council of Europe said the measure’s vague definition of “disinformation” and accompanying threat of jail could have a “chilling effect and increased self-censorship, not least in view of the upcoming elections in June 2023”.

The legislation — comprised of 40 amendments that each required a separate vote — was proposed by Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted AKP party and furiously opposed by Turkey’s main opposition groups.

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One lawmaker from the secular CHP party smashed his mobile phone with a hammer in parliament to demonstrate how freedom of expression was being destroyed — particularly for the young.

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