State-run news channel TRT fires experienced staff in what union calls an 'exile'

Amid a recent round of firings, media workers' labor unions have criticized the state-run TRT news channel for failing to carry out its service as a public broadcaster and replacing experienced staff with unqualified personnel.

HABER-Sen union members protest TRT for firing personnel in this 2019-dated file photo (Source: KESK union)

Duvar English

The state-run news channel TRT has fired eight experienced technicians in what a media workers' union has described as an “exile” and part of a years-long process of mobbing and forced retirement that has been taking place at the channel.

The technicians were employed at TRT for between 15-25 years and were fired without reason, according to the HABER-SEN union.

“We condemn these exiles, and we are calling upon the TRT administration to abandon this middle-aged understanding of management,” the union said in a statement.

The longtime state-run TRT has essentially become the mouthpiece of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, and HABER-SEN said that the channel is firing veteran staff and hiring those lacking experience for the purpose of stacking the channel with people close to the government.

“Especially within the past 12 years, the institutional identity and broadcasting experience has been eliminated via the hiring of personnel at TRT that is unchecked, without examination, and lacking specific criteria,” the union said.

“We invite TRT, the only public service broadcaster in the country, to protect its experienced staff, to implement a policy that will abandon subcontracting and the employing of personnel without job security, and to take responsibility for mistakes that appear in the news.”