Pro-Kurdish party leader visits TV channels to be managed by partisan trustees

The co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) showed solidarity with Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk — both critical media outlets set to be managed by partisan trustees — by visiting them following the intrusion early on Wednesday of the police into their headquarters as part of a government operation to illegally appoint partisan trustees to take over their management.
and”This is not a coup against freedom of information of [only] the ipek Media Group, but rather of the [whole] society,and” HDP Co-chair Selahattin Demirtai said during a live broadcast.
Early on Wednesday, the police, backed by a controversial court order, ushered a new board of trustees into the Istanbul headquarters of Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk, which are owned by the ipek Media Group.
Demirtai appeared live on Bugandun TV as he met with Tarik Toros, the general manager of the TV station, in the channeland’s control room.
Underlining that the government move cannot be legally defended, the HDP co-chair said, and”It is unbelievable that a state openly treats a media group like a criminal organization during a live broadcast in such a despotic and rude way.and”
Drawing attention to the thousands of police lining the surrounding streets of the media outletsand’ headquarters, Demirtai said he is not surprised by the move given that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has long been known for such violations of the law.
The Ankara 5th Criminal Court of Peace on Monday ruled that trustees be appointed to replace the existing boards of directors of Koza ipek Holding and its companies based on a demand by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutorand’s Office.
and”This is blatant tyranny. [Those responsible] will be absolutely called to account for this illegality,and” Oktay Vural, parliamentary group deputy chairman of the National Movement Party (MHP), has said.
In remarks to Bugandun TV during a live broadcast which Toros conducted over a mobile phone, Vural added, and”I see how the freedom of the people is being threatened by a despotic state mentality.and”
Describing the government move to silence the critical media outlets as unconstitutional, Vural said, and”This is an attack against all the media as well as being against the right to property.and”
The appointment of partisan trustees came only days before Sundayand’s snap general election.
Arguing that the interim AK Party government aims to convert the critical media outlets into government mouthpieces, Vural said, and”Those doing this are afraid of democracy.and”
Vural likened the AK Party government to the Tower of Babel and added, and”I believe with all my heart that the Tower of Babel will collapse on Nov. 1.and”
The appointment of partisan trustees ahead of the election has been blasted by the opposition as an effort to silence and intimidate critical media outlets.
Noting that relatives of AK Party members are among the trustees appointed by the court, Vural said, in a call to the judge who determined the trustees: and”Where did you get these names? Were they delivered to you from the [presidential] palace? Were you unable to find anybody else [to appoint as trustees]?and”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who headed AK Party government for years before being elected president last year, is known for his intolerance of critical media.
Haluk Koandc, spokesperson of the main opposition Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP), likened the operation against the critical media outlets to piracy, noting that rule of law is being trampled on.
In remarks to Bugandun TV by mobile phone, he said, and”We are witnessing the destruction of democracy.and” Warning that those who take illegal steps will one day be called to account before the law, Koandc added, and”If a state is resorting to piracy, [then] there is no security of life and property in that country.and”
HDP Co-chair Demirtai described, during a meeting earlier in the day, the government move as seizure of a media outlet by force under the guise of the appointment of trustees.
Underlining that freedom of expression and freedom of the press are the foundation of all freedoms, Demirtai said during the meeting, and”When freedom of thought is violated, you canand’t protect other rights.and”
h2 Tanal tears up legal book on trustees in protest of illegal takeoverh2 CHP deputy Mahmut Tanal tried in vain to stop the police from illegally entering the headquarters of the televisions stations, arguing that the appointment of the trustees and the takeover procedure were not in accordance with the law.
Holding in his hand a book of law related to the practice of trustees while attempting to stop the illegal takeover, Tanal criticized the police for not paying any attention to the law.
Tearing pages out of the book in his hand one by one in disappointment, he added: and”There is no democracy in this country. If this book is not valid, [then] Iand’ll tear it up.and”
Mustafa Destici, the chairman of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), called on everyone to take a stance against such unlawfulness while speaking through a mobile phone connection live on air on Bugandun TV.
During an election campaign visit to Zonguldak on Wednesday, the BBP leader blasted the controversial appointment of trustees as scandalous. and”[This is] scandalous in all respects,and” Destici said.
In a call to the judge who selected partisan figures as trustees, Destici, in Zonguldak on Wednesday, demanded that the judge announce the person who told him to appoint the trustees as well as the criteria according to which they were selected.
In remarks to the Samanyolu Haber television station, CHP Deputy Chairman Fair andOztrak blasted the government move as a blatant attempt to silence critical media outlets.
Describing the move as thuggery, andOztrak said Turkeyand’s ranking in the world press freedom index — which is already low — is now expected to fall further.
Turkey ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the latest press freedom index, which was released last February. Many fear the AK Partyand’s increasing pressure on media organs and their employees may turn Turkey into a country where there is no press freedom.