Habertürk TV management resigns following MHP's threats, harassment

Habertürk TV's chief editor and Ankara representative resigned on May 5, shortly after government ally MHP harassed the broadcaster for coverage of their draft constitution proposal. MHP deputy leader İzzet Ulvi Yönter had said that Habertürk TV anchor Ebru Baki had "lost it" over the party's draft constitution, and had called her a "supposed journalist who warps facts."

Duvar English

Turkish broadcaster Habertürk TV's Chief Editor Hakan Kürşad Oğuz and Ankara representative Bülent Aydemir resigned on May 5, shortly after government ally Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) harassed one of the channel's anchors for her coverage of the MHP's draft constitution. 

MHP deputy leader İzzet Ulvi Yönter had tweeted on May 4 that Habertürk TV anchor Ebru Baki had "lost it" over the MHP's draft constitution and that her attempts to "defame" the draft proposal was "vulgar and crude."

"Ebru Baki is a supposed journalist who warps truths and reveals her intolerance of the MHP with her smirk. It's absolutely rancid that she picked her guests among MHP enemies. They chose filth and atrocity," Yönter tweeted on May 4.

Baki's co-anchor and Habertürk TV Ankara Representative Bülent Aydemir had responded to Yönter's comments on May 5, saying that he returned all his words back to the politician. 

Aydemir was replaced by Show TV Ankara Representative Sibel Demirci Erdem and the show that he co-anchored with Baki was removed from the air on May 6.

The MHP's condemnation of Habertürk TV had also prompted a social media campaign where users said "I don't watch Habertürk TV" with a hashtag, including MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli himself.

It's common for the paramilitaries of the MHP to attack critics of their party, since they enjoy impunity. Bahçeli is a close friend of mafia leader Alaattin Çakıcı, who threatened main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu more than once, and the Gray Wolves - a group of far-right ultra-nationalist Turks - are banned in several European countries due to their constant attacks.

Most recently, journalist Levent Gültekin was assaulted by a 25-person mob following a verbal attack on him by MHP deputy leader Semih Yalçın.