Turkey silences independent broadcaster

Index on Censorship condemns Türksat’s decision to drop independent broadcaster IMC TV’s signal. It must reverse itself and allow unfettered access to information.

“This is another case of terror charges being used to silence media in Turkey”, said Index Senior Advocacy Officer Melody Patry. “Turkey must halt its crackdown on media outlets and ensure citizens have access to diverse information and viewpoints, including those that differ from the government’s political line.”

Privately-owned channel IMC TV, was pulled of the air by one of Turkey’s largest broadcasters, state-controlled Türksat Satellite Communication and Cable TV Operation, Reuters reported.

IMC TV’s signal was dropped by Turksat after an Ankara prosecutor requested IMC be taken down because of allegations that the channel is “spreading terrorist propaganda” for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Turkey has designated a terrorist organisation.

The channel was taken off air during a live interview with Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, two prominent journalists who were freed pending trial that same day after spending 92 days in prison.

IMC TV is known for being critical of the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), and had recently covered clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish separatists in the southeast region of the country.

The incident was recorded on Mapping Media Freedom and Index will alert the Council of Europe platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.

The climate for media freedom has declined in recent months.