Police officers are seen at the Palace of Justice in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 30, 2020. Authorities recently suspended two pro-opposition broadcasters. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Turkish regulator censors Halk TV and TELE1 broadcasters for 5 days

Istanbul, July 1, 2020 – In response to an announcement today that Turkey’s broadcast regulator, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), would suspend the Halk TV and TELE1 pro-opposition television stations for five days, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement:

“The Radio and Television Supreme Council should not function as a censorship tool for the government, and Turkey should learn to tolerate the existence of whatever critical voices are left in the broadcast media,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said, in New York. “Halk TV and TELE1 are two remaining pro-opposition broadcast outlets in a media landscape that has become predominantly pro-government. Their presence is vital for media plurality in Turkey.”

The suspensions were announced today in a statement tweeted by Radio and Television Supreme Council board member İlhan Taşçı. Taşçı, who is a member of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), wrote that the two outlets will lose their broadcast licenses entirely if they receive another penalty in the future.

CPJ emailed the broadcast regulator for comment but did not immediately receive any reply.