Broadcaster faces charges for ‘insulting president’
ISTANBULAn indictment has been prepared against television channel Kanal D on the grounds that it insulted the president by showing a banner that appeared during a Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) election during one of its morning programs.
The Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office demanded five years and four months in prison for “Kanal D Haber Günaydın” program presenter İrfan Değirmenci, chief news editor Süleyman Sarılar, news editor Fevzi Yeniçeri and news editor Ali Ekber Aydın for insulting the president.
A banner that read “Murderer Erdoğan” appeared two or three times in the background during a HDP election rally in Germany on Sept. 30, 2015, according to the indictment.
The indictment acknowledged that freedom of reporting was an essential right in democratic societies but added that “exaggerated, offensive and insulting” statements could not be tolerated.
It also added that the multiple appearances of the banner during the report was evidence of a clear insult to the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The Bakırköy 39th Penal Court of First Instance accepted the indictment.
Earlier this week, the same prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into the editor and producer of the morning news program of Kanal D’s sister station, CNN Türk, after the channel used the word “dictator” on its news ticker, during a report on Erdoğan’s lawsuit against Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu over the latter’s recent remark that the president was a “sham dictator.”