Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has officially announced that it is boycotting the TV channel CNN Türk due to its biased coverage against the party.
The announcement was made by CHP deputy chair Tuncay Özkan during a press conference held at the party headquarters on Feb. 6.
The CHP called on citizens not to watch the TV channel. "We are advising our citizens not to watch CNN Türk and not to have their kids watch it," Özkan said.
In line with the boycott decision, no politician from the CHP will appear on the programs of CNN Türk.
Özkan said that CNN Türk had been "functioning as if it is the advertising agency" of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since the March 31, 2019 local elections.
CNN Türk kanalındaki yayınlara katılmama kararı alınmıştır. Hiçbir partilimiz CNN Türk kanalına çıkmayacak, tuzaklarını boşa çıkartacaktır. Bu kanalın zararlarından korunmak için yurttaşlarımıza bu kanalı izlememelerini tavsiye ediyoruz. pic.twitter.com/s5APttAgty— Tuncay ÖZKAN (@ATuncayOzkan) February 6, 2020
"The TV channel which functions as if it is an advertising agency of the AKP discourse, continues to take an anti-CHP stance since the local elections [of March 31, 2019]," Özkan said, calling on CNN Türk to adopt "independent and objective" principles of journalism.
Özkan has also likened CNN Türk to the pro-government news channel A Haber, saying that it now acts as the "propaganda tool" of the government.
CNN Türk was established in 1999 in a partnership between Turner Broadcasting System International and Doğan Media Group, a company owned by Turkish business tycoon Aydın Doğan.
In 2018, the group was sold to Demirören Holding — a company known to have close links to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling AKP. Since then, CNN Türk has been criticized for its coverage said to be favoring the AKP and taking a stance against the opposition.