TRT continues to violate the law

Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) is a public broadcaster that should be impartial, treating equally to all political parties and groups, ensuring equal opportunity for all political parties and groups in their broadcasts. This is a legal and constitutional obligation.

In the period of the referendum on April 16, 2017, and also before on the election days of June 7, 2015 and November 1, TRT Haber Channel made prejudiced and biased reports and broadcasts, violating the Constitution of Turkey, laws and principles of broadcasting. TRT’s attitude remains unchanged today, well after the referendum.

TRT Haber live-broadcasts the parliamentary group speeches by three political parties in the parliament: AKP, CHP and MHP, however TRT refuses to broadcast the parliamentary group speeches of the Peoples' Democratic Party, failing to provide equal opportunities, in an act of discrimination against the third largest party in the Parliament.

The live broadcast times of the TRT Haber channel for the parliamentary group meetings of the parties between April 18, 2017 and May 30, 2017 provide clear evidence of the discrimination, embargo, and censorship conducted by TRT against HDP.  Financed by the taxes of all citizens the TRT has a constitutional obligation to make equal and impartial public broadcasts. However, on their live broadcasts, they seem to act as if there were only 3 political parties in the Parliament, completely ignoring HDP, the second largest oppositional party. 

Live broadcast times of parliamentary group meetings on TRT News between 18 April and 30 May 2017 and the shares of each party are as follow: 

Group meetings on 18 April 2017

AKP: 30 min
CHP: 30 min
HDP: 0 seconds
MHP: 30 min

Group meetings on 2 May 2017

AKP: 97 min (the ceremony of Erdogan's joining the AKP)
CHP: 0 min
HDP: 0 seconds
MHP: 37 min

Group meetings on 9 May 2017 

AKP: 20 min (The Prime Minister's speech at the defense industry fair)
CHP: 37 min
HDP: 0 seconds
MHP: 38 min

Group meetings on 16 May 2017

AKP: 56 min
CHP: 35 min
HDP: 0 seconds
MHP:  35 min

Group meetings on 23 May 2017

AKP: 23 min (Prime Minister's press conference with the Prime Minister of Georgia)
CHP: 49 min
HDP: 0 seconds
MHP: 42 min

Group meetings on 30 May 2017

AKP: 57 min
CHP: 40 min
HDP: 0 seconds
MHP: 40 min

As live broadcast times clearly demonstrate, TRT News channel did not live-broadcast any of the 6 HDP group meetings between April 18 and May 30, 2017, failing to provide equal opportunity to political parties and democratic groups in their broadcasts, censoring HDP’s views on the fundamental issues in Turkey’s agenda, preventing the public freedom to obtain information.

Under the extraordinary circumstances of today's Turkey, it is usual yet unacceptable that a public channel operating by public taxation ignores HDP, who represents the political will of 6 million voters in the Parliament.             

Saruhan Oluç
Peoples’ Democratic Party Vice Co-Chair
Responsible for Press, Publications and Propaganda
3 June 2017