Saturday, March 6, 2010

Punishing Criticism

Albeit not the most constructive criticism . . .

From Bianet:
Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) issued a warning penalty to private Turkish television channel TV8 by reason of broadcasting criticism voiced by Independent Tunceli MP Kamer Genç on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Deputy PM and State Minister Cemil Çiçek.

RTÜK member Mehmet Dadak opposed the decision taken by the council on 28 January and referred to a dissenting opinion represented by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

"The case law of the European Court of Human Rights allows broader criticism of politicians, the prime minister, ministers and members of parliament since this should be anticipated when being in the public eye".

"I do not accept the decision regarding a violation since the person uttering the criticism was not a politician and the host cautioned the speaker once in a while. In my opinion the statement was made within the scope of freedom of expression".

Genç was a guest in a program called "Let's talk about it" broadcasted on 19 November 2009. The discussion program deals with Turkish and international issues of politics, economy, tabloid, sports and current affairs. The penalty was based on Genç's following statement:

"... We should forget about that now. AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] came to power; Tayyip Erdoğan and his environment plundered the state. There is no law any more, they abolished the judiciary. They directed the best part of the state to their own supporters. There was an incident with Cemil Çiçek at TOKİ [Public Housing Administration] the other day. His son in law bought a TOKİ building. A building worth TL 2 trillion, so 300 billion were given to somebody else and 1.5 trillion went to his own pocket. There are many more incidents alike. Tayyip Erdoğan took $ 750 million from two Turkish banks and invested the money into the company of his son in law. They went to the Vakıf Bank in Frankfurt/Germany upon the matter of the Light House Foundation and took a credit worth € 1.7 million. € 400.000 of that money went to the brother in law of Erdoğan's son".

"Mr. Erdoğan puts publication bans on the contradictory things he is carrying out himself. The entire political team is sailing close to the wind. All state tenders go to their supporters. They want to establish an Islamic state in Turkey. It is all about filling their own pockets".

Lawyer Dadak voted against the RTÜK decision and said that the host of the program assessed Genç's statement as very pretentious and expressed his astonishment. Dadak furthermore demanded that politicians should be more open to harsh and staggering criticism".

1 comment:

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Also worth noting is that Kamer Genc is one of the few truly elected people in the parliament. He has his own voter base in his district and gets in from whatever party he chooses or independently. Anyway, they once tried to beat him up in the parliament too. here's a link.