Turksat drops seized television channels

The state-owned Turkish Satellite Communications Company (Tandurksat) dropped Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk late on Monday as part of a government-orchestrated crackdown on critical media.
Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk were dropped after a total of 13 TV channels and radio stations, including Samanyolu TV, Mehtap TV, S Haber and Radio Cihan that are critical of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) were dropped as of Saturday 12 a.m., in a severe blow to the already deteriorating press freedoms in Turkey.
Turkcell TV+, an online TV streaming service from the Internet provider Superonline, Tivibu, another service provided by TTNet and Digiturk satellite network previously announced that they too had removed the stations in question from their platforms under the order of the Ankara Public Prosecutorand’s Office, on the suspicion that the channels were supporting a terrorist organization.
Following a court decision to seize Koza ipek Holding and appoint pro-government trustees to take over management of its companies on Oct. 26, police entered the ipek Media Groupand’s headquarters in Istanbul on Oct. 28, whereupon they took the Kanaltandurk and Bugandun TV channels and the Kanaltandurk radio station off the air.
The trustees then took over management of the Bugandun and Millet dailies, as well as Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk, following the police intervention, during which many journalists and protesters were subjected to excessive police force.
The Bugandun TV, Kanaltandurk, Shaber and Samanyolu television channels have become targets of the governmentand’s crackdown for being seen as affiliated with the Gandulen movement, a grassroots social initiative inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the movement of instigating the massive corruption probes of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, which implicated ministers in his government and even some of his family members.


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