Turkey – Press Council (1989)

Code of professional principles of the press, adopted by the Press Council of Turkey (Basin Konseyi) in April 1989.

Considering freedom of the press a precondition of human dignity and the democracy in our country;

Pledging upon our own free will to struggle until we have placed among the permanent articles of the Constitution the principle that no provisions restricting the freedom of the press can be enacted;

Viewing freedom of the press as an instrument of public’s right to learn the truth;

Believing that fighting against all restrictions, overt or covert, that aim to hinder people’s right to learn the truth is a natural requisite of protecting and honouring freedom of the press;

Keeping in mind that the main function of journalism is to find the facts and communicate them to the public without distortion or exaggeration;

Underlying the determination of the Press Council not to allow any interference over its activities;

We journalists declare to observe the following Code of Professional Principles of the Press as a corollary of our above-mentioned fundamental beliefs:

1. No person shall be denounced or ridiculed in publications on account of his/ her race, sex, social status or religious beliefs.

2. Nothing that restricts freedom of thought, conscience, and expression or is damaging or offensive to public morals, religious sentiments and the foundations of the family shall be published.

3. The profession of journalism which is a public institution shall not be used as vehicle of immoral pursuits and interests.

4. Nothing that humiliates, ridicules or defames private or public persons beyond the limits of fair criticism shall be published.

5. Private lives of individuals shall not be reported, except when made necessary by public interest.

6. Every effort shall be made to assure that news stories are verified and validated before publication.

7. Information given on condition of confidentiality shall not be published, except when made urgently necessary by public interest.

8. A media product generated by a medium of communication shall not be presented to the public by another medium of communication as its own, until it has completed its distribution process. Attention shall be paid to citing the source of media products received from news agencies.

9. No person shall be declared “guilty” until he/ she has been tried and convicted by judicial authorities.

10. Those actions deemed criminal by laws shall not be attributed to individuals without reasonable and persuasive evidence to that effect.

11. Journalists shall protect the confidentiality of their source, except in the circumstances where the source is deliberately trying to mislead the public for personal, political, economic etc. reasons.

12. Journalists shall avoid methods and manners that may be detrimental to the good name of the profession in gathering the news.

13. Publication of material that is conducive to violence and use of force shall be avoided.

14. Paid announcements and advertisements shall be presented in such a way that leaves no room for doubt regarding their true nature.

15. Embargoes upon publication dates shall be respected.

16. The press shall respect the right of reply and correction arising from inaccurate information.

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