PAA rejects Evrensel's objection to announcement ban decision – embargo continues
The Press Advertisement Agency has dismissed our objection to the announcement and advertising decision it issued whereby more than one newspaper may not be purchased.
The Press Advertisement Agency (PAA) has once more dismissed the objection we made to the announcement and advertising ban penalty it imposed premised on newsagent sales.
The Press Advertisement Agency has dismissed the objection we made after it ruled “the purchasing by one reader of more than one newspaper” to be a crime on the basis of inspections made in the Adana, Ankara, Diyarbakır, Istanbul, İzmir and Kocaeli provinces on 28 October 2019. Alleging that Evrensel was bought by newspaper staff and this situation was of a constant nature, the PAA intimated that for this reason it had decided to continue suspension of the official announcement and advertising right. This decision was served on our paper on 14 January 2020. Purchasing more than one newspaper was deemed to be a crime element in this decision.
IS IT A CRIME TO BUY TWO PAPERS?
In the 14 January decision, the purchasing by one person of five newspapers in Diyarbakır and taking them to a prison, the purchasing by one person of eight newspapers in Meydan Market and three newspapers in Has-Er Market in İzmir, the purchasing of five newspapers from the Nesrit Bulut newsagent and two from the newsagent named Aktif Gıda Pazarlama in Adana and the purchasing of fifteen newspapers from the Şen Gıda newsagent and eight from Zaman Gıda in Gebze was deemed to be a “crime element.”
OUR GROUNDS FOR OBJECTION SUPPOSEDLY UNACCEPTABLE
The objection we made to this decision has been dismissed by the Press Advertisement Agency. In its decision, the PAA dismissed the objection we made, saying, “… It was ascertained that just as no valid and concrete information or documentation was submitted that would constitute a basis for the lifting of the General Directorate decision in question, no cogent explanation was offered with reference to the violations. Consequently, as Evrensel Daily newspaper’s grounds in the (g)-referenced correspondence were not deemed to necessitate the lifting of the (f)-referenced General Directorate decision and to be acceptable, there was no call for the conducting of any procedures in line with the (g)-referenced correspondence of the newspaper at issue.”
NO EXPECTATION OF A LAW-BASED AND INDEPENDENT DECISION FROM THE PAA
Noting that the Press Advertisement Agency was maintaining its double standards, Evrensel newspaper’s lawyer Devrim Avcı said, “It does not accept our readers buying two newspapers, but on the other hand the income other press outlets derive from mass sales is massive. They want us to believe that Sabah newspaper is purchased individually from newsagents.”
Saying that the Press Advertisement Agency alleges that newspaper staff constantly purchase the newspaper and this is untrue, Avcı said, “They say staff buy the paper but staff are in fact notified to both the PAA and the Social Security Institution. Despite this, they persist in saying that ‘Staff buy the newspaper.’”
Avcı stressed that he no longer expected a law-based and independent decision from the Press Advertisement Agency.
ACCORDING TO THE PAA, PAPERS MUST BE BOUGHT INDIVIDUALLY
The Press Advertisement Agency also recalled its decision, “In paragraph four of Article 46 of the Regulation on Official Announcements and Advertisements and Periodicals Which are to Publish These concerning the number of actual sales and their averages as well as distribution and sales principles, sales at final point-secondary newsagents must be made in fact and individually, with multiple sales being exceptional on reasonable and acceptable grounds.” In other words, the purchasing of more than one newspaper is deemed a “crime” under the Press Advertisement Agency decision.
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS MAY FULLY COME TO AN END IN ONE MONTH’S TIME
Evrensel was penalized with the first official announcement and advertisement ban on 18 September 2019. Even if we as a newspaper objected to the decision on 2 October, this met with dismissal on 10 October. This was compounded by the late delivery of the Press Advertisement Agency decisions to our paper by the post office. On 14 October we then requested a “renewed inspection” for this procedure to be reassessed. The reinspection fee for the renewed inspection decision issued on 4 November was also paid by our paper. On 19 December, we subsequently petitioned for a reply to be given to our paper in view of reinspection not yet having been conducted. On 14 January, however, the report replete with outrageous details about multiple purchases was forwarded to our paper. In response to this decision, we further objected to the decision on 20 January. However, from information that reached us on 17 February, the Press Advertisement Agency announced that it would not lift the announcement and advertisement ban penalty. A mere one month remains before our newspaper, designated as being penalized for five months, forfeits its official announcement right. If the official announcement ban penalty does not end by March, our newspaper Evrensel will attain the status of a newspaper unable to carry official announcements.