Turkey’s state-run TRT chairman calls on media to remain committed to truth amid increasing false news

The Chairman and Director General of Turkish state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) has said the last few decades have seen an unprecedented rise in false news and called on members of media to remain firm in truth in the face of disinformation.  

"Politicians, journalists, and viewers are speaking of false, fabricated news. As journalists, our job is to remain bound to the truth, never lie and mislead our viewers,’’ the agency quoted İbrahim Eren as saying during the 5th Global News Forum in Istanbul.

TRT, which is Turkey's first and only official national public broadcaster, has long been accused of being a mouthpiece for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The station has come under criticism for, among others, being staffed with pro-government officials, giving disproportionate airtime to the Islamist AKP ahead of the country’s elections, in addition to cutting short speeches and events pertaining to opposition figures.

Turkey’s Media Communication and Postal Employees Union (HABER-SEN) in 2018 reported that, TRT TV gave over 89 hours of coverage to the ruling AKP, compared to just over 7 hours for the man opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Turkey held a general and presidential election in 2018.

"In the false and fake world of news we are in, it is very important that we place human beings before everything else. This is what we are trying to do at TRT," Eren said. 

Freedom of the press under Turkey’s ruling AKP has been a long-running concern, and observers have estimated that up to 90 percent of the Turkish media by audience share is owned by businessmen or companies with close ties to the government. 

The 5th Global News Forum is hosting more than 120 participants from 35 countries.


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