The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has imposed an administrative fine and a penalty of broadcast suspension on television channels FOX TV and Halk TV.
Releasing a written statement, the Council has referred to the remarks of theater and movie actors Müjdat Gezen and Metin Akpınar on the television program “Halk Arenası” (People’s Arena) broadcast on Halk TV.
While Müjdat Gezen stated on the program, “Look, (President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, you cannot judge my or our patriotism, know your place,” Metin Akpınar said, “They, perhaps, hang the leader on its foot or, maybe, he dies in a dungeon by being poisoned.”
Indicating that the related statements “have exceeded the limits of criticism and incited the public to enmity and hatred,” the Council has imposed a penalty of broadcast suspension for five times and an administrative fine of 80,000 Turkish Lira on Halk TV on the upper limit.
In the statement, the Council has also referred to the remarks of journalist Yılmaz Özdil, who previously said on Halk TV, “If Tayyip Erdoğan had drunk a single beer in the past, we would be living in a far better Turkey now.”
The Council has imposed an additional penalty of broadcast suspension for three times and a fine of 80,000 Turkish Lira on the “Hak Arenası” on the ground that the statements of Özdil “encourage people to drink alcohol.”
The Radio and Television Supreme Council has also imposed a penalty of broadcast suspension for three days and an administrative fine on the upper limit to the FOX TV Prime News Bulletin presented by Fatih Portakal.
The following statements of Portakal dated December 10 have been cited as the reasons for the penalty and fine:
“Here we go, let’s protest these price increases, the increases in prices of natural gas with a peaceful protest demonstration. Come on, let’s do it. Can we do it? How many people can take to the streets out of fear and concern?”
After those statements, Fatih Portakal was targeted by pro-government media outlets as well as President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said, “If you do not know your place, this nation will hit you in the back of your head.”
An investigation was also launched against Müjdat Gezen and Metin Akpınar in the wake of Erdoğan’s statement “These are pseudo-artists. You have mentioned hanging the president of the country on the rope? Now, you go and pay the price for it before the judiciary.” Gezen and Akpınar were released on probation after deposing at the Prosecutor’s Office. (EMK/SD)