Media coverage of Istanbul’s hostage crisis banned

A hostage situation in an Istanbul courthouse has led to another gag order, adding up to a total of over 150 similar rulings issued in the past four years in Turkey.

Using the Prime Ministry’s authority to temporarily ban media coverage in cases related to national security and public order, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan notified the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) soon after suspected members of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) took prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz hostage at the Istanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan.

RTÜK forwarded the decision of the “temporary ban” to Turkish televisions, which immediately cut their live coverage of the ongoing crisis.

In the last four years, more than 150 gag orders have been issued. The various issues banned include the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) storming of Turkey’s Mosul consulate, the massive graft investigations targeting government ministers, as well as the country’s deadliest terrorist attack and worst mining disaster in its history.