The Turkish parliament adopted the article 15 of the disinformation bill which says that if a press card holder does not have the qualifications required by the law or if they lose such qualifications over time, the Directorate of Communications will have the authority to revoke the press card, Bianet reported on Wednesday.
Another article of the disinformation bill was adopted in the parliament on Tuesday. So far, the parliament has passed 15 out of 40 articles of the bill. Critics deem it as the “censorship bill” which would pose serious threat to the oppositional media.
The 40 articles draft bill includes punishments for spreading misleading information on national security, public order and health in an attempt to spread panic or fear among the citizens.
Journalists raised concern over the ongoing discussions and walked out of the general assembly in protest, Bianet said.
According to the newly adopted article 15, if a press card holder violates journalistic ethics, it will be possible to cancel their press card with the decision of the Press Card Commission.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP İbrahim Kaboğlu said that the bill reflected a “march towards totalitarianism”.
People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MP Mehmet Rüştü Tiryaki said that the “Directorate of Propaganda” could not decide who should be regarded as journalists.
The government ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) also endorses the bill.