RSF slams state-run TRT for favoring ruling party’s electoral candidates

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has slammed the state-run broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) for allocating more coverage to the electoral candidates of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)ompared to opposition political parties, saying it is very disturbed by TRTand’s unfair treatment.
Releasing a written statement on Friday regarding the situation of the freedom of the press in Turkey, RSF stated that it is very disturbed by the way TRT is giving an unfair amount of airtime to the ruling partyand’s candidates for the June 7 parliamentary elections.
and”With typically flagrant bias, TRT had given ruling Justice and Development Party leader [and current Prime Minister] Ahmed Davutoglu 1 hour and 20 minutes of coverage by mid-April against only 15 minutes for the pro-Kurdish Peopleand’s Democratic Party (HDP). Reporters Without Borders already condemned a andlsquotoxic climateand’ for the media on the eve of regional elections in a press release on 21 March [2014], which also voiced concern about TRTand’s bias,and” RSF wrote in the statement.
RSF also included its Program Director Lucie Morillonand’s comments regarding the issue in the statement. Morillon urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been holding electoral rallies as if he was prime minister in violation of the Constitution, to and”think again and to refrain from targeting opposition news media [during his rallies].and”
Morillon further added, and”With just days to go to parliamentary elections, the authorities must respect media pluralism, which is essential for the elections to take place in a proper, democratic manner.and”
Saying that the Turkish government tries to prevent independent journalists from working by introducing various obstacles such as accreditation bans and prosecutions, RSF also noted that two journalists from the Cihan news agency, which is linked to the Gandulen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement and inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fetullah Gandulen, were denied permission to cover a public event organized in Istanbul on April 21 by a mobile operator, AVEA, that Erdoganand’s wife, Emine Erdogan, attended.
RSF also recalled that many critical media outlets were prevented from attending a funeral on April 1 in Istanbuland’s Eyandup Sultan Mosque held for Mehmet Selim Kiraz, a Turkish prosecutor who was killed after being taken hostage at the Istanbul Courthouse on March 31.
and”Reporters from two news agencies (Cihan and Dogan), 10 newspapers (Zaman, Handurriyet, Posta, SandOzcandu, Taraf, Millet, Cumhuriyet, Ortadoiu, Yeniandcai and Birgandun) and five TV stations (Samanyolu TV, IMC TV, Kanaltandurk, CNN Tandurk and Bugandun) were turned away,and” RSF stated.
Turkey is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the 2015 RSF press freedom index.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman