The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has fined the Kanal D television channel for airing footage that shows a book linked to the faith-based Gülen movement, accused by the Turkish government of mounting a botched coup attempt last summer, a claim the movement strongly denies.
Turkish media reported on Thursday that Kanal D, which aired the image of a book about the schools affiliated with the Gülen movement on Turkish comedy TV series “Çocuklar Duymasın,” was fined TL 562,000 by RTÜK.
Social media users reacted to seeing the book “Bridges for Peace-Turkish Schools: Windows Opening to the World” on Kanal D and complained to RTÜK.
RTÜK fined the channel on charges of violating the law that bans TV programs that teach the commission of a crime, praise crime organizations and teach criminal techniques.
The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched 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 is composed of articles by experts and political leaders on Turkish schools opened by Gülen movement supporters in various parts of the world.
Books written by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been presented as evidence of supporting terrorism by the 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 the 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.
The military coup attempt on July 15 of last year killed 249 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with 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.