Turkey's media watchdog asks TV channels to not air AKP congresses slammed over overcrowding amid COVID-19

Turkey's media watchdog has asked TV channels to not air AKP congresses slammed due to overcrowding amid the pandemic. Erdoğan previously boasted about the crowds at the congresses despite the high number of COVID-19 cases.

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The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) chair Ebubekir Şahin has asked managers of TV channels to not air footage from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) congresses, RTÜK member İlhan Taşçı said. 

According to Taşçı, who is from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), the request was conveyed to the TV channels through a private line. 

"TV channels were asked to air footage of empty streets," Taşçı said. 

"The congresses and stadiums won't be aired!" he added. 

The AKP congresses were slammed for disregarding COVID-19 measures as no social distancing was in sight. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan previously dismissed all criticism and even boasted about the halls being full. 

The cities that the AKP carried out congresses saw a spike in the number of cases.