Turkey’s TV watchdog fines two stations for fake news against Aydın Doğan
Meltem Özgenç – ANKARATurkey’s TV and radio watchdog has fined two private broadcasters for publishing “news contrary to the facts” against Aydın Doğan, the founder and honorary chairman of Doğan Holding, which owns daily Hürriyet.
The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) fined ATV and TGRT Haber for the reports about Doğan, stating that the broadcasts went beyond the limit of criticism and amounted to slander.
RTÜK fined ATV for its Sept. 29 program “Günebakan” (meaning “sunflower” or “looking at the day” in Turkish), and TGRT Haber’s Aug. 26 broadcast of “Mehmet Ali Aydın İle Gün Biterken” (As the day ends with Mehmet Ali Aydın).
TGRT Haber was only given a warning on the grounds that the station had violated the RTÜK’s regulation on fake news for the first time, ATV was fined a total of 13,000 Turkish Liras.
The regulation on “making news contrary to the facts” includes the provision that broadcasts must not be against the principle of human dignity or violate the right to privacy. They also must not be degrading, insulting or contain elements of defamation.
Known as one of the strongholds of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) during its 13 years in single-party government from 2002 to 2015 due to the majority of the members being selected from the AKP quota, RTÜK’s structure changed after no single party could come to power in the June 7 election. The number of non-AKP members of RTÜK from the parties’ quota - from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) - currently adds up to more than the members elected from the AKP quota.