Turkey’s election board bans TV program for ‘one-sided’ opinions

Turkey’s election board bans TV program for ‘one-sided’ opinions

Turkey’s election board bans TV program for ‘one-sided’ opinions

The High Elections Board (YSK) President Sadi Güven is seen at a meeting in this file photo. AA Photo

The High Elections Board (YSK) has banned a news program from broadcasting on the private Bugün TV news station for “including only one-sided opinions,” according to daily Bugün. The station has instead been obliged to broadcast a bird documentary.

The banned program, titled “Gündem Özel” (Exclusive Agenda), was reportedly censured by the YSK upon an application from the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).

The RTÜK applied to the YSK over four programs that were broadcast in January, in which guests discussed the Dec. 17 graft probe and a legal amendment to the judicial system. The YSK agreed that these programs were one-sided and included hosts who “only criticize the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) actions,” daily Bugün reported.

Bugün TV was then ordered to replace “Exclusive Agenda” with episodes of a documentary titled “Turkey’s Birds,” which is produced by state broadcaster TRT.

“Exclusive Agenda” is moderated by Bugün editor-in-chief Erhan Başyurt, Bugün’s Ankara representative Adem Yavuz Arslan, and Faruk Mercan, Ankara representative of the private Kanaltürk station.

Progressive Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) President Ahmet Abakay criticized the ban, describing it as “beyond censorship.

“I want the RTÜK, which works as a propaganda organ of the government, to be closed down. This is something beyond the censorship,” said Abakay.