Six Turkish opposition channels under investigation after presidential election

In Turkey, the audiovisual regulatory authority announced on Tuesday (May 30th) that it had opened an investigation against six opposition channels. The reason given is their coverage of the second round of the presidential election, won Sunday by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The KRT TV channel broadcast by the CHP party on election night on May 14, 2023. © YASIN AKGUL / AFP

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With our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer

The Higher Audiovisual Council (RTÜK), says – without further details – to conduct an investigation for "insults" and "denigration of the people" following complaints from viewers in connection with election night. The targeted channels are all opposition channels accustomed to this kind of investigation, very often followed by sanctions.

Even if the RTÜK is described in the law as "autonomous and impartial", this institution, whose members are elected by Parliament, and where those close to power are in the majority, systematically sanctions the same channels, and always spares the same others. In 2022, five of the six opposition channels targeted by this new investigation received 54 fines between them, for a total amount of more than 820,000 euros. Conversely, the most openly pro-Erdogan channels have not received a single one.

Opposition candidate Kemal Kiliçdaroglu said the election had been the "most unfair" in years in Turkey, due in part to the very unbalanced coverage of the public media. According to Reporters Without Borders, Erdogan received 60 times more airtime than his rival on the public broadcaster TRT Haber.

>> READ ALSO: "What will be the Turkey of tomorrow?": the day after its defeat, the Turkish opposition grinds black

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  • Turkey
  • Media
  • Recep Tayyip Erdogan