Media watchdog defends its warning on not airing superspreader AKP events over 'fight against COVID'
The head of Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) said that his discouragement of broadcasters to use images of mass AKP congresses was motivated for safety, in an attempt to contribute to the national COVID-19 lockdown.
The head of Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) said that his request for broadcasters to avoid using mass events by the government was motivated by a safety concern, he said in a May 2 tweet.
RTÜK Chair Ebubekir Şahin asked managers of TV channels to not air footage from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) congresses, RTÜK member İlhan Taşçı said on May 2.
The AKP was slammed nationwide for holding superspreader events across the country for their provincial and national congresses, leading to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in regions where the mass gatherings were held.
"The reason for our reminder was to contribute to the full lockdown that our whole nation is putting effort into," Şahin said. "We will continue to do our work right despite all discouragements."
2️⃣ Hatırlatmamızın amacı, sağlığımız için milletçe büyük emek verdiğimiz tam kapanma dönemini hakkıyla sonlandırmaya katkıda bulunmaktır. Tüm yıldırma çabalarına rağmen işimizi layıkıyla yapmaya devam edeceğiz.— Ebubekir Şahin (@ebekirsahin) May 2, 2021
Ironically, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and members of the AKP attended a funeral in masses on May 2, breaching a nationwide lockdown.