Watchdog fines Turkish TV stations $41 million over past decade

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The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), a TV and radio regulatory watchdog, announced on Wednesday that in the last decade — from Jan. 1, 2008 to Sept. 30, 2018 – it had fined Turkish television stations TL 235 million (more than $41 million), the Diken news website reported.

Sixty percent of the fines imposed in 7,820 cases concerned violations of advertising and commercial regulations.

A full 21.6 percent of the fines arose from procedural errors of newly established local or national TV channels.

While some 10 percent of the fines dealt with regulations to “protect the well being of youths and children,” 4.7 percent were for allegedly exceeding the boundaries of “private life.”

In the last five years the board has received some 800,000 complaints from viewers who were mostly uncomfortable with TV series, advertisements or news bulletins.

RTÜK was recently criticized for being too intrusive in TV programs and obligating television stations to self-censor by means of fines imposed.

Turkish media reported several incidents in which famous foreign films, TV series and music clips were censored over the last five years.

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