CHP deputy files criminal complaint against Turksat over Samanyolu removal

Outspoken Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) deputy Mahmut Tanal has filed a criminal complaint against the state-owned Turkish Satellite Communications Company (Tandurksat) over its recent move to remove more than a dozen television and radio channels owned by the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group in a politically motivated move.
Broadcasts of Samanyolu TV channels and radio stations were stopped by Tandurksat as of midnight on Saturday. The controversial move came despite a decision by the Ankara 6th Administrative Court on Friday demanding that Tandurksat submit to the court the and”documents, information and legal evidenceand” it has to justify the removal. The court also urged Tandurksat to submit its defense within the required legal period.
Tandurksat dropped these media outlets despite having signed an agreement with the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group to provide service until 2024.
Tanal filed the complaint against the Tandurksat officials behind the disputed decision on the grounds that it violates Articles 10 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and Articles 10, 22, 26, 29 and 30 of the Constitution that concern freedom of expression, the principle of equality, the right to information and freedom of the press.
Tanal also said Tandurksatand’s removal of the Samanyolu groupand’s TV channels and radio stations violates Article 122 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) that concerns crimes of stoking hatred and animosity in society because the removed media organs are being discriminated against and censored for their critical stance while pro-government media outlets are protected although they legally need to be treated equally. Article 124 of the TCK that concerns prevention of communication has also been violated, the CHP deputy said in his complaint.
In another development, the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) raised its voice against Tandurksatand’s politically motivated move to remove Samanyolu media outlets from its infrastructure, at a time when many civil society organizations have turned into government mouthpieces and failed to stand up to the severe violations of rights in the country.
Releasing a statement on its website on Tuesday, MAZLUM-DER pointed to the absence of legal grounds for Tandurksatand’s move, adding it violates several articles of the ECHR and the Constitution that concern freedom of expression, freedom of the press, the right to communication and the freedom of enterprise.
andquotThe violation of such an important right by the government has led to suspicions that the rights of a group and its employees are being violated. The elimination of these suspicions depends on an independent and impartial court issuing such decisions following an open and fair trial. We seek the reversal of the administrative ruling until a decision is made at the end of a fair trial,andquot MAZLUM-DER said in its statement.
The broadcast of the TV stations, which are known for their critical stance toward the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, were halted by Tandurksat because of a and”legal obligationand” to an order from a prosecutorand’s office, based on the suspicion that the channels support a terrorist organization.
The media has reported that the prosecutorand’s demand came as part of an investigation into media outlets inspired by the faith-based Gandulen movement, also known as Hizmet.
The TV and radio stations that were removed are Samanyolu TV Europe, Mehtap TV, Samanyolu Haber, Yumurcak TV, MC TV, Dandunya TV, Tuna Shopping TV, Irmak TV, Samanyolu TV Turkey, MC EU, Ebru TV, Samanyolu Africa, Samanyolu Haber Radio, Burandc FM, Radyo Mehtap, Dandunya Radyo, Radyo Berfin and Radyo Cihan.
In the meantime, lawyer irfan SandOnmez has harshly criticized the removal of the Samanyolu media outlets from Tandurksat, saying the controversial decision will be annulled by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
andquotJustice sometimes comes late but it will come sooner or later. This decision [against Samanyolu] is against the ECHR and will be reversed by the ECtHR,andquot he said in a statement on Wednesday.


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