Turkish presidential candidate: TV staff fired for 10 second coverage of opposition rally

Meral Akşener

Turkish opposition İYİ Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Akşener on Monday said that staff members at a TV station who aired 10 seconds of an İYİ Party rally ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections had been fired, the left-wing Birgün newspaper reported.

Akşener made the comment during a television program where she pointed out the need for an independent media in Turkey. Media companies affiliated with Turkey’s leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) government comprise 90 percent of Turkish media, according to data quoted by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) from the Media Ownership Monitor.

“I am not just talking about visual media. People working there should not have mental censorship. We should not leave media in the hands of big capital,” Akşener said, noting that capital owners in the nation were scared.

“On a television station, whose name I don’t wish to give, a rally by our party was covered for 10 seconds. The people who aired the rally for 10 seconds were fired,’’ she said.

A report by Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) earlier this month found that Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT provided a total of 37 hours of coverage for Turkey’s leading AKP-Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) alliance formed ahead of the snap elections, while the İYİ Party received 9,5 hours and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) received no coverage at all between April 17-May 6. (Ahval)

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