Turkey’s media watchdog warns streaming services that shows against Erdoğan and Atatürk are 'unacceptable'

Turkish media watchdog RTÜK has warned streaming services of “violating broadcasting principles” a lot lately. RTÜK said in a statement that broadcasts against the state, President Erdoğan and the founder of the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, are “unacceptable.”

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Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) on July 3 released a statement warning digital streaming services that “they are receiving a lot of complaints from citizens” lately.

The council said RTÜK does not “compromise on national security” and that its red lines are clear. “RTÜK is extremely sensitive to harmful broadcast content that will harm the family institution.”

RTÜK noted that broadcasts “that hurt our family, attack our moral and cultural values, contain deviant relationships that threaten social health, insult our religious values in comedy programs, and broadcasts against our state, our President and the founder of our Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, are unacceptable.”

“RTÜK will not hesitate to impose the heaviest sanctions if our constructive warnings are not respected,” the council lastly added.

RTÜK, whose policymaking board is dominated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its allies, frequently fines broadcasters that are critical of the government and broadcasts that it finds “immoral.”

Digital platforms are under the authority of RTÜK as part of a regulation that passed on Aug. 1, 2019. Broadcasting corporations can't operate without getting licenses from RTÜK as part of the amendment.

In line with Law 6112, RTÜK licenses television channels, radio stations, and video-on-demand content in addition to monitoring their content.

As part of the regulations, companies are forced to remove the content deemed inappropriate by RTÜK.