Turkish court rejects blackout order for opposition Halk TV

The Ankara Third Administrative Court rejected a five-day blackout order imposed on opposition Halk TV by Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) media watchdog, Diken reported on Tuesday.

Another administrative court also blocked a similar blackout penalty on the TELE 1 channel.

Halk TV reported that a programme hosted by Turkmen journalist and political scientist Hüsnü Mahalli prompted the ban. 

Meanwhile, Tele 1 said they had received a ban followed an investigation launched into the station over statements critical of Abdulhamit II, the 34th sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

On July 1, İlhan Taşçı, a board member of the RTÜK affiliated with the main opposition party, said that the watchdog was ordered by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to "rid Turkey of the media virus’’, and this was the first stage of a plan to shut down the outlets.