Turkey’s RTÜK fines broadcasters critical of gov’t $1.6 million in year and a half

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Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) over the last year and a half has imposed TL 11 million ($ 1.6 million) in fines on TV channels with critical stances towards the government, the Sözcü newspaper reported on Monday.

Speaking to the daily, RTÜK member İlhan Taşcı said between January 1, 2019 and May 15, 2020, broadcasters that are critical of the government received 36 fines, while pro-government channels only received two official warnings, the mildest sanction.

In addition Fox TV’s popular news hour hosted by anchor Fatih Portakal was temporarily removed from the air three times.

A total of 27 such bans were imposed against shows broadcast on Halk TV, KRT and Tele 1, along with Fox TV.

“It is obvious which broadcasters are protected and which ones are under pressure,” Taşcı told Sözcü, adding that RTÜK has been using punitive measures as a weapon against those whose broadcasts upset the government.

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