Citing the broadcast of a promotional film prepared by a pro-government foundation celebrating the anniversary of the 1071 Battle of Manzikert victory of the Selçuk Empire over the Byzantine Empire as a public service announcement, a member of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has criticized a recent amendment it approved concerning how public service announcements are labeled.
“By changing the manner in which public service announcements and mandatory broadcasts are labeled, the aim is to fool viewers and all of society,” said RTÜK board member Faruk Bildirici, who was critical of the majority-approved decision.
“Without changing the format, content or legal statutes regarding public service announcements and mandatory broadcasts, only the label is being changed. By doing this, the aim is to increase viewership of government propaganda and ministerial promotional material that is broadcasted for free,” Bildirici said.
The RTÜK amendment will change the labeling of ‘mandatory broadcast’ to ‘preferred broadcast’.
According to Bildirici, 30-45 second commercial broadcasts on radio or television are normally quite expensive, but if they are designated as a public service announcement or a mandatory broadcast, they are free. As such, RTÜK receives a large number of applications for public service announcements, and many of these come from government ministries.
The pro-government Archers Foundation, which prepared the promotional film which celebrated the anniversary of the 1071 Battle of Manzikert victory of the Selçuk Empire over the Byzantine Empire, has been granted permission to broadcast three promotional films as public service announcements, which Bildirici said is abuse of the usage of public service announcements and is paving the way for civil society organizations close to the government to broadcast their advertisements and promotional material free of charge.