Board members ask for fair broadcasting

Board members ask for fair broadcasting

ANKARA - Hürriyet
Board members ask for fair broadcasting

Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) Head Davut Dursun is seen in this file photo. RTÜK’s members have asked for balanced broadcasting. AA photo

Political opposition members serving on the board of Turkey’s top broadcasting regulatory body have requested a report on fair and balanced television broadcasting in speeches addressed to Parliament on Nov. 26, the same day the prime minister announced several municipal candidates of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) members involved included: Ali Öztunç and Süleyman Demirkan, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputies, Esat Çıplak and Ahmet Yıldırım, from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) respectively.

In a statement issued on Nov. 26, the Council members base their call for RTÜK to draft a report on television broadcasting on a ruling by the regulatory body stating that “political parties and democratic groups cannot be one-sided or biased.” The statement went on to read that the report must be brought to attention of the Council for discussion.

“The Council has a responsibility to monitor political matter [in broadcasts] aside from [the period leading up to] elections. It is crucial for broadcasting institutions to pay particular attention to ensure objectivity in broadcasting and news during an election and other times,” the statement read, citing an article from legislation regulating procedures that oversee any given broadcast, particularly stressing the anchorman’s obligation to remain neutral during such broadcasts.

AKP group meetings ‘given more air time’

The four RTÜK members also complained that television broadcasts were allowing more air time for AKP parliamentary group meetings in comparison to opposition party group meetings.

“There is an evident disproportion between the amounts of television coverage of AKP group meeting as opposed to other parties. The AKP’s meetings are being delivered without a break in transmission while opposition party meetings are televised for three to five minutes only. Such broadcasts are not objective but in fact one-sided,” said the statement.