Yeni Yaşam daily, one of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish opposition affiliated newspapers, has been subjected to its fifth access ban on its website. The reason for the ban remains unknown.
Following the implementation of the access ban on Yeni Yaşam’s website “yeniyasamgazetesi4.com”, the newspaper has continued its publication through the address “yeniyasamgazetesi5.com“. In Turkey, it is often possible to determine the number of times a website has been blocked by looking at the numbers in the address line.
Turkey has a lengthy history of imposing restrictions on Kurdish media outlets. The initial access ban on Yeni Yaşam’s website was imposed in September 2020. Subsequently, in January 2022, March 2022, and January 2023, the newspaper’s website was also banned.
Yeni Yaşam, which began its publication in May 2018, served as a successor of Özgür Gündem, a daily newspaper published in the 1990s in Turkish and Kurdish.
During Özgür Gündem’s initial period of publication between 1992 and 1994, a significant number of its staff members, including writers, journalists, and distributors, became victims of unsolved murders. Numerous attacks were also launched against its offices and branches.
Out of the total 580 issues published, 486 faced legal prosecution, resulting in many staff members being sentenced to prison.
Özgür Gündem resumed publication in 2011 after it was shut down by a court order in April 1994. However, it was ultimately closed down by a decree-law issued in October 2016.
The Kurdish media remains one of the most heavily censored areas in Turkey, with Yeni Yaşam becoming the latest target of these ongoing restrictions. The Medya News website was also banned in Turkey in 2022.
However, the censorship in Turkey is not limited to the Kurdish media, with hundreds of thousands of web pages including international sites and the Western press being blocked.
Between 2014 and 2018 alone, the Turkish government completely blocked access to over 245,000 web pages, including Wikipedia and Facebook. In 2019, Turkey blocked access to 408,000 sites, 40,000 tweets, 10,000 YouTube videos and 6,200 Facebook shares, according to statistics from the website TechRadar.