Turkey’s Media Authority Issued 39 Fines in 1.5 Years, 36 of Them were for Critical Outlets

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“Sözüm Var” program on Halk TV was suspended for five episodes.

Click to read the article in Turkish

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has fined four media outlets critical of the government for 36 times since the beginning of 2019, according to a report prepared by İlhan Taşcı, a member of the council from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

While the four TV channels —Halk TV, Tele 1, KRT and FoxTV— were issued administrative fines for 28 times and forced to pay 11 million lira (~1.6 million USD), the authority also suspended broadcasts of several programs on these broadcasters for 27 times.

RTÜK “uses penalties as a stick to bring critical outlets into line,” Taşcı said on Twitter. He also criticized RTÜK Chair Ebubekir Şahin for his recent remarks that he didn’t any instructions from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but he would take them as “orders” if he did. “Think about what they will do when they get instructions,” Taşcı said, pointing out the penalties against critical media. 

According to the report, RTÜK issued a broadcast suspension penalty for three political discussion programs on Halk TV for 12 times. (Siyaset Kültürü [2], Medya Mahallesi [5], Sözüm Var [5]). It also issued 10 administrative fines for the broadcaster.

CLICK – Stay of Execution for Halk TV’s Five-Time Broadcast Suspension

Tele 1 TV was handed administrative fines for eight times and broadcast suspension penalties for 10 times within this period. The broadcaster’s main news bulletin was suspended twice and the morning news program titled, “Gün Başlıyor” was suspended eight times.

The council suspended Fox TV’s main news bulletin for three episodes and handed seven administrative fines to the channel.

It also issued three administrative fines to KRT channel and suspended a news program titled, “Haber Merkezi” for two episodes.

Among the pro-government broadcasters, ATV and Ülke TV were handed a warning once each and TGRT Haber was handed one administrative fine. TV Net, Kanal 7 and A Haber did not receive any penalties.

CLICK – TV and Radio Channels Fined 3.8 Million Lira in 2019

Show TV and Kanal D were handed four and one administrative fines, respectively.

The council has nine members, which are selected by the parliament. It is authorized to supervise radio, television and online broadcasts. İlhan Taşcı, an award-winning journalist and a lawmaker, was elected for the RTÜK membership on October 16, 2019. (HA/VK)

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