Prosecutor seeking prison sentence for Akit TV presenter over ‘killing civilians’ comments
Ceylan Sever- ISTANBUL
The Küçükçekmece Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul has launched an investigation into Ahmet Keser, a presenter for the Islamic conservative Akit TV, over his comments about “killing civilians” in secular neighborhoods of Istanbul for “inciting hatred and hostility among the public through media.”
Prosecutors are seeking up to four and a half years in prison for Keser.
The penal court in Küçükçekmece has accepted the indictment against Keser and has started the legal procedure.
The country’s top media watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), also ordered to impose a fine of three percent of advertising revenue and cease broadcasting three times for Akit TV.
Referring to claims the Turkish military was killing civilians in its “Operation Olive Branch” in the northwestern Syrian district of Afrin, Keser on Feb. 27 said: “If we [Turks] were to kill civilians, we would have started in Cihangir, Nişantaşı and Etiler, wouldn’t we? There were many traitors. There was the Turkish Parliament, too.”
Keser resigned after his comments drew public outrage.
Following the criticisms, Akit TV said the presenter’s words “did not represent the channel’s views.”
“Our presenter Ahmet Keser’s words, which crossed the line after he tried to rightfully say that Turkish soldiers were not killing civilians, are not accepted by our channel. Keser has resigned from his post in order to prevent people using his words as an excuse to attack this institution,” Akit TV said in a statement on Feb. 28.