Ministry demands removal of NGO ad from Turkey’s media watchdog
ISTANBULTurkey’s Health Ministry has requested the removal of an advertisement by the Foundation for Children with Leukemia (LÖSEV) that runs on TVs as a public service ad from the country’s media watchdog.
In a letter sent to the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK), the Health Ministry demanded the LÖSEV advertisement prepared for the construction of Europe’s first village for children with leukemia to be cut from being broadcasted, daily Cumhuriyet reported.
LÖSEV, a non-profit nongovernmental organization that mainly aims at providing educational and emotional support, financial assistance and health services for children who have leukemia or chronic blood disorders, applied to the RTÜK for their ad, which aimed at reaching donors for the construction of the village for children with leukemia, to be televised free of charge under the “public service ad” category. The media watchdog decided that the ad could be televised as it contained public benefits and thus the ad was broadcasted for six months with a black-on-white “public service ad” sign on its’ right upper side.
The RTÜK once again approved televising the ad with the same title for another six months, upon LÖSEV’s application.
The Health Ministry applied to the media watchdog asking for the removal of the ad, stating the ad “did not hold public benefits.”
Upon the ministry’s letter, the RTÜK decided unanimously to ask for the reason of the demand.
Süleyman Demirkan, a member of the watchdog chosen from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), said the RTÜK would normally not share it’s authority with other institutions but steps are being taken to prove that Turkey is becoming more authoritarian.
“With which right can the Health Ministry demand such a thing for an NGO’s ad from the RTÜK? This is against democracy, freedoms and also the founding philosophy, independence and autonomy of the RTÜK,” said Demirkan.