Turkey's media regulator probes Fox TV for Başak Demirtaş broadcast

Turkey's media watchdog RTÜK launched an investigation into Fox TV for a broadcast involving Başak Demirtaş, wife of former HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş. Başak Demirtaş had said on the broadcaster that her husband was kept in prison not based on court rulings but because of a decision by the government.

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Turkey's Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) launched an investigation on Oct. 7 into Fox TV for a broadcast involving the wife of former co-chair of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtaş, Başak Demirtaş. 

The former HDP co-chair has been incarcerated since November 2016 when he was imprisoned for charges that were dropped, and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Selahattin Demirtaş's rights were violated with his sentence. 

"Unfortunately, this country's government made a decision to keep Selahattin in prison, not because he's guilty," Başak Demirtaş said. 

Demirtaş also noted that the Turkish Constitution mandates Turkish courts adhere to ECHR rulings, saying that there is no court ruling mandating the former co-chair's incarceration. 

RTÜK said on Oct. 7 that the broadcast involving Başak Demirtaş had violated Law 6112 regulating media outlets' activities.

"It's a crime for me to speak about my husband whose innocence has been confirmed by the ECHR, but it's not a crime to make incorrect accusations about Selahattin and his friends day and night on all channels for five years?" Başak Demirtaş tweeted on Oct. 7.

Demirtaş's lawyers also said that her statements on Fox TV were not problematic, but that the backlash was caused by the fact that she was right in her protest.

Selahattin Demirtaş released a statement from the prison against the targeting of his wife by RTÜK as well as some media organs. 

"Those lynch mobs who made a target of my family last night should know that if my family members are harmed by even just a single hair strand, you are to blame. As I will not forget the solidarity of millions, I will also not forget this," the renowned politician said in his message.

Demirtaş's messages are posted on Twitter by his lawyers.