Turkey’s media watchdog imposes a five-day blackout on opposition Tele1 TV channel

Duvar English

Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has slapped Tele1, an opposition TV channel, with a five-day black screen broadcast ban over statements critical of the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) and Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamit II.

The
Ankara Third Administrative Court had in July rejected this five-day
blackout order imposed on Tele1; however upon the appeal of RTÜK,
the issue was discussed at a higher Ankara court, which ruled in
favor of the media watchdog.

The broadcast ban went into effect as of Sept. 3. Several people, including opposition politicians, slammed RTÜK’s move, with the hashtag #Tele1Susturulamaz (which translates as ‘Tele1 cannot be silenced’) going viral on Twitter.

“The rulership is afraid of the power of the truth; it is trying to suppress every opposition voice and extend its lifetime by blacking out the facts. The blackout on Tele1 is an attack on free press and people’s freedom of information,” Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) wrote in a message on its official Twitter account.

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“Tele1 is being blacked out in an unlawful way as of this midnight for five days. Those who think that they can prevent the truth from being spread by blacking out the screens, will be once again mistaken,” Canan Kaftancıoğlu, Istanbul provincial chairwoman of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), wrote on Twitter.

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“This is a shameful record for the media history. This is against the constitution and law,” İYİ (Good) Party deputy Aytun Çıray wrote.

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Turkish actress Berna Laçin similarly slammed RTÜK’s decision with the phrase of “For a free Turkey…”

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About CHP EU Representation

The CHP was founded on 9 September 1923, about one and half month before the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey. The first President of modern Turkey’s oldest party was M. Kemal Atatürk. Today CHP is a social-democratic party, member of the Socialist International and associate member of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament. The scope of the CHP bureau in Brussels is not limited to the bilateral framework of Turkey's EU accession process. Issues such as the information society, energy policies, social development, climate change, international trade and security are among the different focus areas. The EU-Turkey relations are about integration and need multiple, plural and horizontal channels of communication. The CHP supports and promotes Turkey's EU membership process also by being more present and active in Brussels The CHP's Representative to the EU is Ms Kader Sevinç who previously worked as an MEP advisor at the European Parliament and in the private sector.
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