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Turkey’s public broadcaster TRT put under direct control of President Erdoğan

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Turkey’s public broadcaster, the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), has been subordinated to the president’s office, according to a new presidential decree issued on Tuesday.

With the same decree, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has been tied to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

During election campaign periods in past years as well as in the run-up to the June 24 general and presidential elections of this year, TRT has been heavily criticized for discriminating against opposition parties while giving extensive coverage to the election campaigns of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

Most rallies for Erdoğan and the AKP are broadcast live by the station during election campaign periods.

Erdoğan was elected president again on June 24 and began his new term in office with sweeping executive powers under a presidential system.

Turkey switched to the presidential system from a parliamentary system after it was narrowly approved in a referendum held in April 2017.

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