Freedom of press is a constitutional right guaranteed by the 1985 Constitution in the TRNC. Articles 26 and 27 of the second part of the TRNC Constitution on Fundamental Rights and Liberties provides:
Article 26: “Freedom of the Press”
- The press and publication are free for all citizens and shall not be subjected to censorship.
- The State shall take the necessary measures to ensure the freedom of the press and of receiving information.
- The freedom of the press and of receiving information may be restricted by law for the purpose of safeguarding public order or national security or public morals or for preventing attacks on the honour, dignity or rights of persons and for preventing instigations to commit an offence or for the purpose of assuring the proper functioning of the judiciary in accordance with its aims.
- Save when it is imposed by a decision to be given by any court or judge, within the limits to be prescribed by law, for the purpose of ensuring the proper functioning of the judiciary, in accordance with its aims, no ban shall be imposed on the publication of news about events.
Article 27: The right to publish Newspapers, Periodicals and Pamphlets
- The publication of newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets by citizens shall not be subject to obtaining prior permission or to the furnishing of financial security.
- The publication, distribution and financial resources of newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets and the conditions pertaining to the profession of journalism shall be regulated by law. Such law shall not impose political, economic, financial and technical conditions preventing or making difficult the free dissemination of news, thoughts and opinion.
- Newspapers and periodicals shall benefit, in accordance with the principle of equality, from the media and facilities provided by the State and other public corporate bodies or by institutions attached to them.
- Newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets published within the boundaries of the State may be seized by an order of a judge in cases where any of the offences specified by the relevant law has been committed; and by an order of the authority expressly empowered by law in cases where a delay is considered undesirable from the point of view of safeguarding national security, public order or public morals. The competent authority giving the order for the seizure, shall inform the court of the decision on the same day. If the court does not confirm the decision within two days, at the latest, the order for the seizure shall be considered null and void.