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An official from the US State Department has expressed concern over the decision by the state-owned Turkish Satellite Communications Company (Tandurksat) to stop broadcasting TV channels that are critical of the government, calling on Turkey to respect media freedoms.
and”We have seen reports of the ban on certain TV channels. As weand’ve said before, we are concerned by the increasing number of investigations into media outlets for criticism of the government and for accusations of allegedly disseminating terrorist propaganda. We are also concerned by the aggressive use of judicial inquiries to curb free speech,and” an official from US Department of State who wished to remain anonymous told Todayand’s Zaman on Sunday.
and”We call on Turkey to respect media freedoms and due process protections that are enshrined in the Turkish Constitution. They are key elements in every healthy democracy. It is particularly important to allow different voices and viewpoints to be expressed during the [election] campaign period,and” the US official added.
TV stations Irmak TV, Bugandun TV and Kanaltandurk, which are known for their critical stance toward the government, were recently notified by Tandurksat that their contracts will not be renewed as of November. The stations were told to remove their platforms from Tandurksatand’s infrastructure by the end of October.
Tandurksatand’s move to drop these channels is the latest instance of TV streaming platforms removing stations critical of the government and means viewers will not be able to tune in to the stations on any platform, with the exception of the stationsand’ own online streaming applications.
Similarly, streaming services Digiturk, Turkcell TV+, Tivibu, Teledandunya and Kablo TV recently removed seven TV stations that are critical of the government — Bugandun TV, Mehtap TV, Kanaltandurk, Samanyolu TV, S Haber, Irmak TV and Yumurcak TV. The move has prompted a consumer exodus from many private TV streaming providers, with many users vowing to take the platforms to court for breaching their contracts.