Turkey prosecutors seek jail terms for two Bloomberg reporters

The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the US. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 14 June 2019

Turkey prosecutors seek jail terms for two Bloomberg reporters

  • Prosecutors accuse the two reporters of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability
  • An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for Sept. 20

ISTANBUL: Turkish prosecutors are seeking a jail term of up to five years for two Bloomberg reporters who had written about how authorities responded to last summer’s currency collapse, the US-based news agency reported.
The charges come after Turkey’s banking regulator agency, BDDK, complained about an August 2018 Bloomberg story on the currency crisis amid tensions with the United States.
Prosecutors accuse the two reporters, Kerim Karakaya and Fercan Yalinkilic, of trying to undermine Turkey’s economic stability, Bloomberg said late Thursday.
The news agency’s editor-in-chief John Micklethwait said: “We condemn the indictment issued against our reporters, who have reported fairly and accurately on newsworthy events. We fully stand by them and will support them throughout this ordeal.”
An Istanbul court accepted the indictment and the first hearing is set for September 20.
Turkish media reported 50 others, including journalists and columnists, were also indicted for commenting on the currency crisis on their social media accounts.
In April, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Western media coverage of the country’s economy after a Financial Times report questioned the central bank’s management of foreign currency reserves.
Turkey’s economy has slipped into its first recession in a decade after a currency crisis last year battered the lira, leaving foreign investors jittery over the government’s policies to manage growth.


Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos

Updated 22 October 2019

Social media app TikTok removes Daesh propaganda videos

  • An employee at TikTok told AFP that about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos
  • The videos featured corpses being paraded through streets and Daesh fighters with guns
BEIJING: Social media app TikTok has taken down accounts that were posting propaganda videos for the Daesh group, a company employee said Tuesday, in the latest scandal to hit the popular platform.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, claimed some 500 million users globally last year, making it one of the most popular social apps.

An employee at TikTok told AFP that about 10 accounts were removed for posting the videos.

“Only one of those videos even had views that reached into double digits before being taken down,” said the staffer, who declined to be named.

The videos featured corpses being paraded through streets and Daesh fighters with guns, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the story on Monday.

The Journal said the posts were from about two dozen accounts, which were identified by social media intelligence company Storyful.

“Content promoting terrorist organizations have absolutely no place on TikTok,” the company said in a statement emailed to AFP.

“We permanently ban any such accounts and associated devices as soon as identified, and we continuously develop ever-stronger controls to proactively detect suspicious activity,” it said.

Daesh's self-declared “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria fell in March, but the group remains active in several countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, as well as still inspiring jihadists through an online presence.

The TikTok platform, which allows users to create and share videos of 15 seconds, is particularly popular with teenagers.

“Unlike other platforms, which are centered around users’ friends or communities, TikTok is based on engaging with a never-ending stream of new content,” said Darren Davidson, the editor-in-chief of Storyful.

“The Daesh postings violate TikTok’s policies, but the sheer volume of content makes it difficult for TikTok to police their platform and root out these videos,” he said.

The app has been marred by controversy in recent months. In April, TikTok was briefly banned by an Indian court over claims it was promoting pornography among children.

The app is banned in neighboring Bangladesh and was hit with an enormous fine in the United States for illegally collecting information from children.

The company has refuted the allegations, saying they abide by local privacy laws.

ByteDance has a version of TikTok in China called Douyin.