The state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has banned the broadcasting of a total of 208 songs, 142 Turkish and 66 Kurdish, on its 14 TV stations for reasons that were not made clear to the public.
Some of these songs are performed by famous Turkish singers such as Koray Avcı, Onur Akın, Sıla, Nüket Duru, Berkay, Demet Akalın, Bengü and Nazan Öncel and are listened to by millions of people on the Internet. Some of these singers are also known to be critical of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Atila Sertel discovered the banning of the 208 songs after the prohibition made its way into Court of Accounts reports.
In remarks that appeared in the Turkish media, Sertel accused the AKP government of reigniting the practices of the past when many singers beloved by the nation such as Barış Manço, Orhan Gencebay, Musa Eroğlu, Cem Karaca, Zülfü Livaneli, Adnan Şenses, Arif Sağ and Nurhan Damcıoğlu were banned by TRT.
“Turkey left the coup era behind long ago, but the AKP government has taken steps that are unprecedented, even during coup periods,” said Sertel.
The CHP also said the songs of singers who are pro-government and occasionally visit President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at his presidential palace are frequently broadcast by TRT.