Accused of praising PKK, lawyer Tahir Eli says fine imposed on CNN Turk is unfair

Diyarbakir Bar Association President Tahir Elandci has criticized a decision by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTanduK) to fine CNN Tandurk over Elandciand’s remarks on the andquotTarafsiz BandOlgeandquot (The Neutral Zone) program that the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK) is not a terrorist organization. and”The fine is unfair and wrong. How can CNN Tandurk or [program host] Ahmet Hakan be held responsible for my remarks during a live program?and” Elandci said on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
RTanduK on Wednesday ordered the station to pay TL 700,000 after it decided Hakanand’s and”The Neutral Zoneand” program violated RTanduKand’s rules that say a terrorist group cannot be praised. If the channel repeats the same offense, its license will be cancelled. Criticizing RTanduK for the decision, Elandci tweeted: and”Ahmet Hakan repeated many times [during the program] that he does not agree with me. What else could he do? Should he have beaten me?and” Commenting on the fine, Hakan told the Handurriyet daily that RTanduKand’s decision is completely wrong. and”We do not know beforehand what a guest will say during the live program. He or she can say anything. What is important is to object and voice all opposing views,and” he said. While talking about the PKK, Elandci stated during the program on Oct. 14: and”The PKK is not a terrorist organization. Rather, it is an armed political organization that has great local support.and” His statement was met with strong criticism from both other guests on the show and viewers. Stating that he is willing to accept responsibility for his remarks, Elandci said on Twitter andquotI told the prosecutor and the judge [after I was detained] I stand behind my words.andquot He also stated that he is ready to defend CNN Tandurk in future cases. Elandci also said if the ruling for the fine by RTanduK is not annulled, he will pay the fine. The bar association head was detained late last month for his remarks on the show but was released a day later pending trial. However, he was placed under judicial supervision and banned from travelling overseas after being referred to court for arrest on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda. The indictment, prepared by the BakirkandOy Public Prosecutorand’s Office and sent to the BakirkandOy 2nd High Criminal Court, is seeking a prison sentence of between one-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half years. An investigation was launched into Elandci after his statements, and the BakirkandOy Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office last Monday asked the BakirkandOy 2nd Penal Court of Peace to issue a detention warrant for Elandci. The court complied with the request and issued the warrant. Elandci was detained and then released pending trial.. The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN

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