Regulatory and self-regulatory framework against hate speech and disinformation in Turkey

This factsheet indicates the main characteristics of the national regulatory and self-regulatory framework against hate speech and disinformation and offers an insight into the adequacy of legal regulation in preventing hate speech and disinformation in Turkey.

In Turkey, there is no specific prohibition regarding hate speech, which is the basis of the process that leads to hate crime. While hatred and incitement to hatred are prohibited under the Turkish Penal Code (TPC), as noted by the EU Commission Turkey 2020 report, “legislation on hate speech and its implementation need to be improved as it disregards hate speech against religions other than Islam” and “it does not cover hate offences based on sexual orientation or gender identity.” The legislation “is not in line with the international standards.”

Although there are anti-discrimination provisions in the Constitution and in several laws, ethnic, gender-based discrimination or racism is not regarded as an offence in law. There are no extensive legal hate speech regulations implemented to prevent hate speech. Also, there is no regulation concerning spreading disinformation in Turkey.

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This publication was produced within Resilience: Civil Society for Media Free of Hate and Disinformation, a regional project financially supported by the European Union and implemented in the Western Balkans and Turkey by a consortium of media development organizations led by SEENPM. It is part of a series of publications on the same general topic researched in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey (all publications are available on the SEENPM website).

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Funded by the European Union

The regional program RESILIENCE: Civil society action to reaffirm media freedom and counter disinformation and hateful propaganda in Western Balkans and Turkey’ is implemented with the financial support of the European Union by partner organizations SEENPMAlbanian Media InstituteMediacentar Sarajevo, Kosovo 2.0Montenegrin Media InstituteMacedonian Institute for MediaNovi Sad School of JournalismPeace Institute and Bianet.

This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of SEENPM and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.