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RTÜK imposes fresh sanctions on two anti-government TV stations

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Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), has imposed new sanctions including a fine and a broadcasting ban on two anti-government TV stations due to the content of some of their programs, a RTÜK member has announced.

RTÜK member İlhan Taşçı announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, following a meeting of the board on Wednesday that RTÜK had imposed a fine and a ban on the broadcast of three editions of the same program on both KRT TV and TELE1.

The stations will pay 3 percent of last month’s advertising revenue as a fine.

Taşçı said RTÜK has punished KRT TV for broadcasting content “against the indivisible integrity of state and its nation,” while TELE1 has been sanctioned for broadcasting content “against the national and moral values” in one of their programs.

RTÜK already ordered a seven-day blackout for TELE1, which went into effect over the weekend, over its editor-in-chief’s remarks on air about a terrorist leader.

The enforcement of the blackout, which will be in effect from Aug. 6 to 12, started at midnight on Saturday.

The station is being punished due to the televised remarks of journalist Merdan Yanardağ, the editor-in-chief of TELE1, regarding Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Yanardağ, who was arrested on June 27, faces a prison sentence ranging from one year, six months to 10 years, six months, on charges of “praising crime and a criminal” as well as “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” on the grounds that he criticized some jail restrictions imposed on Öcalan and said they lacked legal ground.

RTÜK is accused of contributing to increasing censorship in the country by imposing punitive and disproportionate sanctions on independent television and radio stations critical of the Turkish government.

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