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Turkey’s media watchdog has fined a channel critical of the government for using a slang word against Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.

The Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) has imposed an administrative fine on Halk TV due to the use of the word “lan” in a sentence, which doesn’t have a specific meaning, but is used as a rude conjunction.

Turkey’s media watchdog has increasingly become a tool to silent opposition voices, fining and even blacking out channels for criticizing the government.

In a TV program, Prof. Mehmet Çilingiroğlu was commenting on Bahçeli’s call to shut down the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) when he used the word “lan.”

“Bahçeli says, ‘We need to shut down the Medical Association, we need to shut down the Constitutional Court.’ Are you building an empire?” Çilingiroğlu said, adding “lan” at the end of his sentence.

According to RTÜK, these remarks against Bahçeli, a staunch ally of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan go beyond the extent of criticism.

It also said that the word “lan” is humiliating and defaming.