CHP goes to top court to lift coverage ban on Mosul kidnapping
Kurdish Peshmerga forces look at a checkpoint held by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) near Mosul. aFP PhotoThe main opposition party has applied to the Constitutional Court to lift the media blackout on the abduction of 49 Turkish citizens by jihadists in Mosul.
“I demand this illegal coverage ban, which was put in place to cover up the government’s weakness, be lifted” Sezgin Tanrıkulu, deputy leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said in his petition to the Constitutional Court on July 11. His application to the top court comes after his earlier appeal to a local court in Ankara to lift the ban was turned down.
The gag order was imposed nearly a week after Turkey’s Consul-General in Mosul, Öztürk Yıldırım, and his 48 personnel, were kidnapped by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The ruling was delivered to media outlets by Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) on June 17. Failure to comply with the ban could lead to financial fines and the suspension of broadcasts or publications.
Tanrıkulu underlined that the ban was imposed upon Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s complaint about the media’s coverage on the issue and that Erdoğan’s primary objective was to distract attention from his government’s weakness and inabilities to save its citizens. The CHP lawmaker demanded the court give priority to his application given the sensitivity of the issue.