‘Deputy TV’ to bypass censorship of parliamentary proceedings

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Ali Şeker (C), lawmaker of the main Turkish opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), broadcasts the assembly live on his social media account from the Turkish parliament in Ankara, on January 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Adem ALTAN

As Turkish Parliament started debates on Monday on a constitutional amendment that will expand President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s powers, censorship of the media is paving the way for alternative solutions by opposition deputies.

Unlike other sessions in Parliament, TBMM TV, which broadcasts solely from the national assembly, will not air debates on the amendment.

Accusing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government of trying to hide content of the changes from the people, opposition deputies have started to air debates in Parliament via the Internet with their mobile phones and tablets.

Taking it one step further, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Ali Şeker established a broadcasting system with a professional camera.

Turkish government at center of reactions against crackdown on independent media in recent years.

At least 144 journalists are currently behind bars in Turkey. A total of 178 media outlets have been shut down since a failed coup attempt on July 15. Thousands of journalists are unemployed, and many are persecuted due to their reporting and social media messages.

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