Turkey’s media watchdog probes anchor over criticism of govt’s economic policies

Turkey’s media watchdog RTÜK has launched an investigation into Fox TV news anchor Selçuk Tepeli after his criticism of the government’s economic policies. RTÜK head Ebubekir Şahin announced the investigation on his personal social media account and tweeted a video of the anchor.

Fox TV anchor Selçuk Tepeli.

Duvar English 

The head of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) Ebubekir Şahin has announced that an investigation was launched into Fox TV news anchor Selçuk Tepeli on the grounds of “violation of the principle of impartiality.”

“Impartiality is a requirement of press ethics in the news broadcasts of media organizations. It is unacceptable for the FOX Main News anchor to act almost like the leader of the opposition. Law No. 6112 mandates this. An investigation has been launched into the efforts of the relevant anchor to mislead the public,” Şahin tweeted early on Jan. 20. Şahin also posted a video of Tepeli’s statements.

In the relevant video, Tepeli is seen criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's economic policies. He says that the bosses who benefit from tax exemptions are getting richer and asks, "Where is the money?”

Tepeli commented on the investigation launched against him, saying that he is doing critical journalism. "They have described me as if I am acting as the opposition leader; I am not an opposition leader, but if I had stayed in the opposition for so long, I would have assumed the rulership, do not have any doubts about that," he said on Jan. 21. 

RTÜK has been continuously issuing fines to opposition channels and figures.

RTÜK member İlhan Taşçı, from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), had published the watchdog’s 2021 fine statistics in December. Accordingly, while pro-government channels were not imposed any fines in 2021, opposition channels were given 71 fines totaling 21.5 million liras.