Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus

The Turkish neighbour at the heart of the controversy

Northern Cyprus’ legislation guarantees press freedom but says it can be limited in order to protect public order, national security or public decency, while defamation continues to be an offence. There is a significant degree of media pluralism and journalists are free to criticise the 

Cyprus’ legislation guarantees press freedom but allows it to be limited in order to protect public order, national security or public decency, while defamation continues to be considered a criminal offence. Media ownership has also become quite problematic with most of the newspapers belonging to people with other business interests (like casinos and hotels). There is substantial media pluralism and journalists are free to criticise the Turkish-Cypriot authorities, but pressure has been growing on journalists with regards to their coverage of Turkey and its policies towards Cyprus. Charged with defaming and insulting a foreign leader, Afrika newspaper’s editor, Sener Levent was acquitted in April 2019 in a trial relating to the newspaper's republishing of a cartoon from social media of a Greek statue urinating on Erdogan's head captioned: "Through Greek eyes" This acquittal, however, was appealed by the attorney-general’s office. The biggest Turkish Cypriot daily, KIBRIS recently censored a poll that showed current Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who is at odds with Turkey’s Erdogan, as the most popular candidate in upcoming elections. As rumors grew rife of intervention from the Turkish embassy in the north, it was revealed that the newspaper’s owner had met with Erdogan’s representatives. Upon his return, the editor-in-chief called a meeting with all his editors and columnists to announce that the newspaper would be supporting the right-wing candidate against Akinci, prompting the top two editors of the newspaper to resign in protest.

77
in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-3

74 in 2019

Global score

+0.12

29.67 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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