AKP Fascism Aims to Destroy Opposition Media
In the meeting of the RTÜK (Radio and Television Supreme Council, the Turkish state agency for monitoring, regulating, and sanctioning radio and television broadcasts), a proposal to shut down Ulusal Kanal was under discussion for many hours. Yener Güneş, chief editor of Ulusal Kanal, stated that they are being targeted because of their broadcast of the Gezi Park protests, and said “Ulusal Kanal does not quiet down, it will only speak louder.”
Güneş evaluated the fines given by RTÜK to Ulusal Kanal on the “Haber Artı” program. His comments on the issue were as follows:
RTÜK has special interest in Ulusal Kanal
“The fines given to our channel prove that the RTÜK has a special interest in us. As is well known, there are experts working for the RTÜK, each of whom are assigned to monitor one TV channel. But Ulusal Kanal has been monitored by three experts. This means special treatment is being given to us. A member of the RTÜK, Mr Ali Öztünç, in an interview with Sözcü newspaper, also explained that this is how it is. The members of the RTÜK have watched Ulusal Kanal for 144 hours before 5 August and discussed the closure of Ulusal Kanal on Thursday (19 September 2013).
According to the information we acquired, the meeting was interrupted often because of fierce arguments. It’s not sensible, they were just sitting and discussing terminating our licence and suspending our TV broadcasts.
Where is the objectivity of it?
In that meeting, honorable members of the RTÜK talked about the closure according to the Law No. 6112 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises, 8th article and “a” clause, which states: “(Media services) shall not be contrary to the existence and independence of the State of Republic of Turkey, the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, the reforms and principles of Atatürk.” Meaning, this is the way that the AKP names the broadcasting which they want to shut down. The AKP, which was charged by the Constitutional Court as “being the focus of activities against secularism”, accuses Ulusal Kanal off being anti-Kemalist. This is such a comedy!
Fines not from RTÜK but from the AKP
The ones behind the verdict were the AKP… This is obvious, because those who signed the sentencing verdict are all AKP members. The verdict was reached through the cooperation of 5 AKP members from the RTÜK organisation. In fact, many such verdicts are reached in this way. It is, of course, possible for mistakes to occur during live broadcasts. In these situations, our presenters make corrections themselves or ask for corrections to be made. On 17 June, 2013, the RTÜK went ahead with their decision to punish Ulusal despite the fact that the presenter had corrected the mistake.
In a separate decision from 17 June, Ulusal was hit with another fine, this time because the presenter did not correct the mistake of the Honoured Hasan Basri Özbey during their interview. In other words, you are liable for punishment whether or not corrections are made.
“We are punished due to our broadcasting the Gezi Park protests”
Besides, Hasan Basri Özbey is Deputy Chairman of the Workers’ Party (İP). Does not a party official have a right to criticize the ruling party and its chairperson?
One of the other fines was given because the RTÜK perceived our comment, in which we say that “we are punished because we have broadcasted the Gezi Park protests”, as slander.
The chief executive of our channel, Mr. Ceyhun İlsever, has criticized the fines given by the RTÜK to Ulusal Kanal and laid stress on the fact that these fines were given because of Ulusal Kanal’s broadcasting the Gezi Park protests. The RTÜK, on the other hand, interpreted these words as an attempt to erode the institution of the RTÜK. We are fined once more because we criticized the fine decisions. We have all of these verdicts of slander and so on. We also have the verdict of the RTÜK given on 11 June 2013. The reason of the fines given to our channel is ascertained that it is because we broadcasted the June uprising of the people. Because in the decision section of the file, broadcastings of Ulusal Kanal has been dealt with in pages.