Apr 01 2018

CNN Turk silenced the Good Party leader

None of the mainstream television channels in Turkey broadcasted live from the first extraordinary congress of Turkey’s newest political party, İYİ (Good) Party convened on Sunday in Ankara, reported opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet. The congress was broadcasted only by the left wing Halk TV and streamed online by the Doğan News Agency.

Journalist Çiğdem Toker posted from the congress venue a tweet showing the empty seats spared for broadcasters. 

Turkey's prominent news channel CNN Turk allocated only 33 seconds to the Good Party leader Meral Akşener’s speech today, however Akşener was silenced and the presenter on tv talked instead.

During her speech Akşener reacted to the television channels’ absence in the congress. “Those beautiful images should have been broadcasted in our country’s televisions. Are they broadcasting penguins now? We have not started out that road by relying on the media which is the equerry of the government,” she said.

Akşener was referring to the documentary on penguins CNN Turk chose to air during the Gezi Park protests in 2013, which since then has become in Turkey a symbol of censorship in the media. CNN Turk belongs to the Doğan Media Group, which was sold in March to a pro-government conglomerate, a move defined as the “confirmed the death of media pluralism in Turkey,” by press freedom non-governmental organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF).