Turkey's TV watchdog cautions networks against self-proclaimed experts

Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog has issued a warning to TV stations to exercise increased discretion regarding their choice of guests, cautioning against individuals posing as subject matter experts, Birgün newspaper reported on Saturday.

Unqualified guests brought on as experts are commenting on an array of matters, over which they have no competency, the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) said in a statement it issued, which is misinforming the masses and causing panic.

“It has been observed that these people, both wittingly and unwittingly, are using discourse that exceeds its limits,’’ RTÜK said, pointing particularly to experts in law, terror, political science and health.  

The warning arrives as Turkey grapples with asecond wave of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting the government to impose nationwide restrictions earlier this month, including weekday curfews and full weekend lockdowns to stem the spread of the deadly virus.

“A large number of complaints have been filed with our higher institution from various civil society organisations and NGOs,’’ RTÜK said. 

The experts are using speculative discourse in a bid to further their own popularity, it added.