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The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has ordered a halt to a television program on the pro-government channel Ülke TV for three episodes over Islamist commentator Sevda Noyan’s remarks on her family’s “capability” to kill at least 50 people if a new coup attempt is undertaken in Turkey. 

RTÜK’s report regarding the case said Noyan’s remarks “exceeded freedom of speech” and the program violated an article of the 6112 numbered Law which prohibits broadcasting services from “provoking public enmity.”

The report also recalled that the TV channel’s management, including the program’s host Esra Elönü, have not approved of Noyan’s remarks and have expressed their apology to the public.

İlhan Taşçı, a RTÜK member from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), wrote on Twitter that the council’s decision was taken unanimously during a meeting on May 22.

Noyan said on May 3 that her family would be able to “take out at least 50 [coup supporters]” if another coup attempt were to occur in Turkey. 

“We could not do what we really wanted to do on [the failed coup attempt of] 15 July, 2016. We got caught unprepared. Let this be fully understood. Our family has a capability of taking [executing] 50 people. We are very prepared regarding this – both financially and spiritually,” Noyan said.  

These statements came amid the context of the recent media narrative of a coup conspiracy. 

RTÜK Chairman Ebubekir Şahin’s first response to the commentator’s threat was that the council was “not in a place to penalize responses to a potential coup.”

After public outcry from both the opposition and the pro-government camps, Chairman Şahin backtracked to say on May 18 that the council “would do whatever is necessary in accordance with its mission.”