Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has fined Halk TV, a broadcaster critical of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), for criticizing a pro-government Islamist foundation.
The media watchdog claimed that Halk TV "humiliated" the Turkish Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), an Islamist foundation that has President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son Bilal Erdoğan on its advisory board, when reporting the group's infiltration into the state.
Recent leaked documents showed that members of the Islamist foundation were recruited into state positions, with critics accusing the group of forming a “parallel state.”
According to RTÜK, the broadcaster's comparison of TÜGVA to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen constituted a crime, adding that it did not base this comparison on “any documents or data” and violated broadcasting principles.
RTÜK, TÜGVA’yı küçük düşürdüğü/aşağıladığı/ iftira attığı gerekçesiyle HalkTv’ye para cezası verdi. RTÜK’ün, TÜGVA kararına, Sayın Taşçı ile birlikte karşı oy kullandık. RTÜK’ün “incinmiş” bir TÜGVA için gösterdiği hassasiyeti işsiz gençlerimizin takdirine bırakıyorum.— Okan Konuralp (@okonuralp) October 27, 2021
RTÜK member Okan Konuralp, who voted against the measure, said on Twitter that the watchdog also fined TELE 1, another broadcaster critical of the AKP, for its' reporters' criticism of former parliament speaker İsmail Kahraman.