TV watchdog fines channel over opposition MP’s remarks

The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has fined broadcaster Habertürk TV for remarks made by main opposition deputy Ali Mahir Başarır over a controversial defence industry deal, Halk TV reported on Wednesday

Başarır’s comments were deemed ‘’contrary to the existence and independence of the state and its indivisible integrity with its country and nation’’ following a majority vote, the news site quoted fellow Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy and RTÜK board member İlhan Taşcı as saying.

Habertürk was given a five percent administrative fine and a five-time broadcast ban, a decision Taşcı said he rejected.  

Speaking to Habertürk on Nov. 28, Ali Mahir Başarır denounced the decision to sell Turkey’s primary tank factory to private company BMC, the Turkish-Qatari venture contracted to produce the country’s first domestic tank.  

"We have reached a point where the state's army is sold to Qatar in a first in the country's history," Başarır said.