CHP applies to court to lift coverage ban on Mosul kidnappings

CHP applies to court to lift coverage ban on Mosul kidnappings

CHP applies to court to lift coverage ban on Mosul kidnappings

This file photo taken on Oct. 31, 2009, shows Turkey's consulate in Mosul.

An opposition lawmaker applied to court on June 26 to lift the coverage ban imposed on the kidnapping of 80 Turkish citizens by Sunni militants in Mosul, Iraq on June 11.

Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), made his appeal to an Ankara court citing in his petition his constitutional right for freedom of expression.

“This publication ban restricting fundamental human rights and freedoms has no legal basis and is unacceptable,” Tanrıkulu said in his petition.

The CHP lawmaker recalled that the relevant articles of the Turkish Constitution, as well as the international conventions that Turkey is part of, made lifting the ban obligatory.

The ban was imposed nearly a week after Turkey’s Consul-General in Mosul, Öztürk Yıldırım, and his 48 personnel, along with 31 Turkish truck drivers were kidnapped by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The ruling was delivered to media outlets by Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) on June 17. Failure to comply with the ban could lead to financial fines and the suspension of broadcasts or publications.

National and international press organizations have strongly criticized the government’s approach of a media blackout over the issue.

Ankara has also resorted to similar bans in the past. Last February, a ban was imposed on the publication of reports relating to the search for two trucks containing weapons – belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) – that were bound for Syria. Coverage of the deadly attack in the town of Reyhanlı on May 11, 2013 that left 53 dead was also banned by a court order.