Turkish media to be inspected on conforming to ‘traditional family values’
Hacer Boyacıoğlu – ANKARAMeasures will be taken in order to ensure that all broadcasts and publications in Turkish media conform to “traditional family values,” according to the government’s official program for 2016 published at the Official Gazette on Jan. 23.
Under the “Family and Woman” heading of the cabinet decision on the application, coordination and monitoring of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s plan for 2016, a number of measures are listed to reduce the media’s “negative effects” on family.
Arguing that the institution of family has been facing “grave dangers” due to divorces, inadequacies in family education and the rise of “individualism,” the plan offers measures, including a tight inspection of the media.
“Measures will be taken to ensure that visual, aural and social media, news, tabloids, films and similar types of productions conform to our traditional family values,” it said, raising eyebrows by including social media on the list.
The inspection was portrayed as a joint effort by the ministries of family and social policies, culture and tourism, youth and sports, national education and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Turkey’s media watchdog.
The AKP government has been under fire, both locally and internationally, as concerns are on the rise with regards to the status of free press in the country. Turkey ranked 149 out of 180 on the 2015 World Press Freedom Index prepared by Reporters Without Borders and it was categorized as “not free” in Freedom House’s annual Freedom of the Press report.