Turkey’s OHAL commission not to accept applications from television stations

The İMC TV, Hayatın Sesi and TV 10 television stations, which were closed under a state of emergency (OHAL) currently ongoing in Turkey, are not being allowed to apply to the OHAL commission, established to investigate applications related to the loss of state jobs and closed foundations, associations and media organizations through the issuance of government decrees.

According to a Dihaber report on Thursday, the names of the İMC TV, Hayatın Sesi and TV 10 television stations are not mentioned in the pre-application form published online by the commission, making it impossible for them to file an application.

The broadcasting licenses of 12 television and 11 radio stations were cancelled when state decree No. 668 went into effect.

The OHAL commission started receiving applications on July 17.  The commission will operate for two years, starting from the date when state decree No. 685 went into force. It will be extended on a yearly basis if the Cabinet considers it necessary.

Following a failed coup attempt last year, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared emergency rule in Turkey, on July 21, 2016, which became effective with a government decree issued on July 23, 2016.

The AKP issued a number of government decrees through which thousands of academics, politicians, teachers, doctors, officials, businessmen, artists and journalists have been purged due to their real or alleged connections to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the government of being behind the failed coup.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) came under fire for rejecting applications concerning post-coup purges in Turkey on the grounds that domestic remedies had not been exhausted.

Turkey’s Ministry of Justice said with the establishment of the OHAL commission, 12,600 cases currently awaiting review at the ECtHR were dropped by the court.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 276 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 9, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 252 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 110 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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