Turkish public broadcaster employees investigated for Gezi support
Thousands of people are seen in this file photo during the Gezi protests at Istanbul's Taksim Square. DHA photoTurkey’s state-run TV channel TRT has confirmed that investigations have been launched against employees who supported the Gezi protests on social media, on the grounds that they “committed a crime under the cover of expressing their thoughts.”
“TRT has launched investigations against 15 employees, not because they expressed their thoughts but because they committed a crime under the cover of expressing their thoughts,” a written statement by TRT issued yesterday read.
News reports over the weekend suggested that TRT’s administrators launched investigations against some employees following detailed examinations of their Twitter and Facebook accounts, claiming that they “led and guided illegal street demonstrations” during Gezi protests in June. TRT is expected to sack those employees on the grounds that they acted against their labor contract.
Hundreds of TRT employees expressed their thoughts via social media during the Gezi Park protests, but investigations were only launched into comments containing offensive or provocative language and which incited violence, the TRT statement said.
“Public workers have legal responsibilities. They cannot offend, provoke and incite violence via the media. It’s a contradiction to demand unlimited irresponsibility while being a public employee. Those who receive their salary with the taxes paid by the nation have the additional responsibility to abide by public rules. We respect every single thought, but we must take measures against acts that push the boundaries of the legal limits,” the statement read.
Earlier this month, representatives from TRT, along with Anadolu Agency, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) and the Directorate General of Press and Information (BYEGM) attended a meeting held by the Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security with the participation of security and intelligence bodies. The objective of the meeting was to seek new intelligence and communication methods to prevent protesters from organizing and staging mass protests, as occurred during the Gezi demonstrations.