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Anchor admits Fox TV avoided broadcasting opposition deputy’s speech

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Turkey’s Fox TV anchor Fatih Portakal on Monday admitted that they had avoided broadcasting an opposition deputy’s speech in parliament due to fear of legal repercussions, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

Felicity Party (SP) deputy Cihangir İslam’s speech in parliament on Oct. 31 is under investigation by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Following his address, the pro-government media accused him of supporting the plotters of a failed coup in 2016.

“The 2016 coup attempt is a pretext, [the government] dismisses all dissidents, all those who tell the truth to their face. You’re not worshipping God, you’re worshipping an ordinary man,” İslam said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Fox TV reported on the investigation into İslam’s speech but did not cover the content of his remarks.

“Unfortunately we censored ourselves because we didn’t know what would happen to us. I admit it,” Portakal said on air.

“If a deputy was being investigated over those remarks, the same prosecutor would launch an investigation into us for disseminating those words. This is shameful,” he added.

Turkey has become the biggest jailer of journalists in the world in addition to using legal proceedings against media outlets to silence them.

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