The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) has given the local Gün TV channel fines totalling 200,000 YTL (around 115,540 Euros) for "broadcasts violating truth and neutrality" and preventing people from making up their mind freely.
In a news item referring to the bomb explosion in Diyarbakir centre on 16 September 2006, when children were also killed, the channel had said that "the police made the traders close up their shops". It received a 80,000 YTL fine for this item and had to pay within 15 days. The fine was given on 27 February 2007, with RTÜK citing Article 4 of Law No. 3984 on Radio and Television Institutions and Broadcasting Rights.
Prosecution had dismissed case
The prosecution had also investigated this case, but decided that the news item was referring to the fact that the police asked traders to keep their shops closed for security reasons and that no trial should be opened.
Second case in one year
In a second case, on 8 April, Gün TV had broadcast a news item based on information from the Dicle News Agency, saying that two distributors of the "Gündem" newspaper had been beaten up by police and one been arrested. This item was broadcast on the main news programme for 1.5 hours.
RTÜK again fined the channel for "a broadcast violating truth and neutrality". Citing Article 33 of Law 3984, which allowed a 50 percent increase in a punishment if a violation occured for the second time within a year, RTÜK handed out a fine of 120,000 YTL.
Gün TV has gone to court in order to fight against this heavy fine and is waiting for the decision of the Ankara Regional Administrative Court. (EÖ/AG)
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