No dating shows on Turkey’s TVs this season, top media watchdog official says
Dating shows will not be aired on Turkish TVs this season, an official from the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) was quoted as saying on Aug. 21 at a forum in the northwestern province of Kocaeli.
“We have met all of our broadcasters over the summer, especially those airing dating shows. As far as we have spoken with our broadcasters, there will no such programs. The broadcasters noted that they also do not want to produce such programs as such images on screen are ugly. So this season there will be a different format,” said Murat Elliatlı, the deputy head of RTÜK’s Monitoring and Evaluation Department, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Elliatlı’s comments come months after the Turkish government issued a state of emergency decree law on April 29 stated that “in radio and television broadcasts, shows where people are introduced to each other and/or brought together to find friends ... cannot be made.”
After the decree’s publication, media reports had claimed that TV dating shows had been completely outlawed in Turkey. The RTÜK later announced that there would be no such ban, but that it would only let such broadcasts be aired at times when children do not watch TV.
The RTÜK had also announced that it would introduce a new set of rules to regulate all broadcasts that “negatively affect the psychological, physical and moral development of young people,” including TV matchmaking shows.
Speaking on Aug. 21, Ellialtı referred to the punishments that would be given to broadcasters that violate the new regulations.
“On April 29, 2017, state of emergency decree law no. 690 was published. With this decree, penalties imposed upon marriage and dating programs were increased. Previously, fines of 1 percent or 3 percent of the gross income of broadcasters were given for airing such programs [if they violated the pre-established rules]. Now, fines of up to 5 percent can be imposed, while a penalty of suspending the program can be also given,” he said.