Wed, 19 June 2024

Turkish journalists protest against political interference in public broadcasting

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The Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) workers affiliated with the Journalism and Communications Union Haber-Sen are under pressure for trying to fight for better conditions and their legal social and economic rights, and for demanding that TRT must act as an independent and unbiased public service broadcaster.

Haber-Sen member artists are banned from the screens and producers’ suggestions are disregarded without good reason.

TRT workers who are Haber-Sen members suffer discrimination by being refused opportunities to be sent overseas for education programs. A number of Haber-Sen member executives have been removed from their posts by TRT management, and some union members face lawsuits for their activities. A lawsuit was filed against a member of Haber-Sen Central Board of Directors and TRT journalist Osman Köse. Until the proceedings are over he is suspended from his position.

The G-9 Journalists Platform calls for the lifting of all lawsuits against trade union members of staff at TRT and an end to all political interference in the nation’s public broadcasting organisation.

Turkish Radio and Television has been defined as independent and impartial in Clause 133 of the Constitution and in the TRT codes. However, independence and impartiality are not observed in practice, and TRT has always been under the control of the government, which itself appoints the TRT Board of Directors and the General Director. We call for the editorial independence of TRT to be respected, for transparent mechanisms to ensure that independence is safeguarded, and for an immediate end to the measures being taken against Haber-Sen and its members.

Read the full text of the G-9 Journalists Platform Statement

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