Turkish state TV broadcasts hanging of prime minister on first day of remote learning programme

Turkish state-run television broadcast an animated video of the hanging of a Turkish prime minister on the first day of a newly implemented distance learning programme for schoolchildren, the Istanbul Gerçegi website reported.

The programme for middle school children on the TRT Eba TV channel featured an animation of the 1961 hanging of Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, it said.

Following a decision to temporarily shut down schools and universities because of the coronavirus on March 11, Turkey began airing distance learning lessons on Monday.

The representative of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on the media watchdog criticised TRT for the programme and said airing such a video constituted a crime.

"It is evident that this broadcast is damaging to the mental development of children," said Ilhan Taşçı, a board member of the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK).

Taşçı called on RTÜK Chairman Ebubekir Şahin to take immediate action.

Turkey's Education Minister Ziya Selçuk issued a statement saying that he did not approve of the programme, which was broadcast due to oversight.

The programme was also met with criticism on social media.

"You claim to be giving lessons, but make small children watch the hanging of a prime minister. All mothers and fathers should protect their children from the party in power," one Twitter user said.

Turkey's first democratically elected prime minister, Menderes was deposed and hanged alongside two ministers following a 1960 military coup.