Koert Debeuf Column

An Open Letter From The Turkish Hayat TV, To Be Closed Down Because It Broadcasted Taksim (Column)

Last Friday, June 14, 2013, at 12 pm, the TV screen of Hayat TV in Turkey went black. The broadcaster was closed down permanently on order from the Turkish regulators who says the broadcaster do not have a valid licence to use the public TURKSAT satellite for program distribution.

Last Friday, June 14, 2013, at 12 pm, the TV screen of Hayat TV in Turkey went black. The broadcaster was closed down permanently on order from the Turkish regulators who says the broadcaster do not have a valid licence to use the public TURKSAT satellite for program distribution.

*****
Hayat TV to close down

Hayat TV, a progressive Turkish TV channel of the working people, the youth, women and the intellectuals is facing closure.

We believe this is a blow to people’s freedom of information.

The decision for the closure is made by the broadcasting regulator RTÜK, Radio & Television High Commission with the pretext that Hayat TV has no licence.

This is not true.

Hayat TV has been broadcasting since 21 March 2007 by ofcom license via TURKSAT satellite. But a recent change in broadcasting rules via TURKSAT requires broadcasters to obtain a RTÜK license to be able to broadcast via satellite.

Our application for a RTÜK license has been submitted and pending for a decision. We have taken all the necessary steps and RTÜK agreed that we could carry on broadcasting as it is until a RTÜK license is granted.

However, RTÜK is now making an arbitrary decision to close down our channel because of, we believe, our broadcast of recent protests in Istanbul and across Turkey.

RTÜK says they investigated “the complaints received for our coverage of the Gezi Park protests” and made a decision for the closure.

We believe this closure is part of the overall repression on the media in Turkey during the more than two-week-long Gezi Park protests. Four other TV channels have been given a fine by RTUK because of their coverage of the recent events.

RTUK sent a letter to TURKSAT to put an end to Hayat TV broadcast at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, 14th June 2013.

We believe this arbitrary and unlawful decision should be reversed.

We call on all democratically minded people to show solidarity with Hayat TV.

Mustafa Kara

Hayat TV Broadcast Coordinator

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(Red. Support freedom of press and spread this letter. Koert Debeuf)

FLI Koert Debeuf PortretKoert Debeuf lives in Cairo, Egypt, where he represented the EU parliament’s Alde group for many years. Currently he is Project Coordinator “World Leaders on Transitions towards Democracy” at International IDEA. He is a former advisor of a Belgian prime minister. Reporting from post-revolutionary Egypt, his columns are a window on events in the Arab world. Koert Debeuf is also author of ‘Inside the Arab Revolution’.

You can follow @koertdebeuf on Twitter

For more columns of Koert Debeuf, click here.

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