Turkey’s TV watchdog fines TV channel for showing Gülen linked book on shelf

Turkey’s television watchdog the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has fined Kanal D TV channel for airing a book linked to faith-based Gülen movement, accused by Turkish government of mounting a botched coup attempt last summer, a claim the movement strongly denies.

Turkish media reported on Thursday that Kanal D TV channel, which aired the image of a book about the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement on a Turkish comedy TV series “Çocuklar Duymasın,” was fined 562,000 TL by RTÜK.

Social media users reacted to seeing the book “Bridges for Peace-Turkish Schools: Windows Opening to the World” on Kanal D TV Channel and complained to RTÜK.

RTÜK fined the channel on charges of violating the law which bans TV programmes that teach committing a crime, praise crime organizations and teach crime technics.
İstanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office started an investigation into the case.

“Bridges for Peace-Turkish Schools: Windows Opening to the World” was prepared for publication by three esteemed professors Toktamış Ateş, Eser Karakaş and İlber Ortaylı and composed of articles by experts and political leaders on Turkish schools opened by Gülen movement supporters in different parts of the world.

Books written by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen was presented as evidence of supporting terrorism by Turkish government.

Last month, Turkish police detained a university student after finding her fingerprints on books written by Fethullah Gülen that were thrown in the garbage to avoid a witch-hunt launched by the government following a coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Last year, Çanakkale 18 Mart University (ÇOMÜ) took out of its libraries a total of 3,949 books written by Gülen and his sympathizers.

A textbook was banned just because it features Fethullah Gülen’s initials in a practice question that reads “… from point F to point G …”.

Textbooks that the government has destroyed over their allegedly harmful content weigh 13,000 tons and cost TL 50 million ($16 million).

In September Turkey’s Education Ministry said it would republish 58 state-distributed textbooks in order to eliminate any subliminal messages from Gülen movement.

The same month Turkey’s Sivas University pulled off the shelf of its libraries all copies of books written by Gülen and his alleged supporters and destroyed them with a shredder.

Also, license plates including the letters “FG” have already been removed from vehicles belonging to the Denizli Courthouse.

A controversial military coup attempt on July 15 of last year killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement and initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup. Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and civil servants since July 15. (turkishminute.com)

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