Media watchdog head defends second salary from state-run Halkbank

Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) chair Ebubekir Şahin has argued that his receiving a separate salary for his membership to the Halkbank board of directors is “legal and ethical.”

Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) chair Ebubekir Şahin is seen in this photo.

Duvar English

Ebubekir Şahin, the head of Turkey's broadcast regulator RTÜK, has defended receiving also a salary from the state-owned Halkbank for his membership to the board of directors, saying the practice is “legal and ethical.”

"I am today receiving the same salary that I was receiving when I was serving as an undersecretary [at the Family Ministry]. Apart from RTÜK, I am also getting a salary for my membership to the Halkbank board of directors. And this is legal and ethical, because this is also the case in municipalities and in other state organizations,” Şahin told pro-government Sabah newspaper in an interview on April 12.

“There have been people who said that I am getting an extravagant salary, but this is absolutely not true. These are part of an operation to wear me down. I would like to say that I am getting the same salary as RTÜK members,” he said.

Şahin was appointed as a board member at Halkbank in June 2020. The decision was criticized by many who said that those with close ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been receiving separate salaries from public institutions.

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) MP Deniz Yavuzyılmaz has recently revealed some of the salaries that AKP officials have been receiving from various institutions.

According to the information given by Yavuzyılmaz, Presidency Administrative Affairs Director Metin Kıratlı is being paid a total of 84,702 Turkish liras in salary from three different institutions.

The CHP MP further revealed that the head of the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has been receiving 45,813 liras in salary, whereas TMSF board members are getting 43,522 liras.

Yavuzyılmaz has also alleged that Yiğit Bulut, an economic advisor for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been receiving salaries from three separate institutions and his monthly income amounts up to 200,000 liras in total with the earnings he gets from various associations.