Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog sanctions 7 TV channels

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Turkey’s broadcasting regulator, has imposed sanctions on seven TV stations due to their content, the T24 news website reported on Friday.

The sanctions concerned pro-opposition channels Halk TV and Flash Haber, which were fined over their political programming, as well as several others that were fined due to series that they aired.

Government-critical stations are frequently sanctioned by RTÜK, whose board members are appointed in proportion to the political parties’ parliamentary presence. RTÜK is often accused of disproportionately targeting opponents of the government.

The agency has authority over traditional TV and radio stations as well as online broadcasters and streaming platforms. It is authorized to impose fines, halt broadcasts and revoke broadcasting licenses over the repetition of sanctions.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), 90 percent of the national media in Turkey, which was ranked 165th among 180 countries in the RSF’s 2023 World Press Freedom Index, is owned by pro-government businessmen and toe the official line.

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