(RSF/IFEX) - RSF has written to Nuri Kayis, chair of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), to express its outrage at a decision to order Gun-TV off the air for one year after it broadcast Kurdish-language songs. This order was "temporarily" suspended on 22 March 2002 by the No. 8 Administrative Tribunal in Ankara.
"This 'sanction' is nothing less than the authoritarian closing of a media outlet in response to its broadcasting 'forbidden' music," RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard said. "Limits on free expression in Turkey have never been as harsh as now, when reforms are supposedly being instituted to bring Turkey closer to the European Union and its human rights standards."
"If this ruling was to be upheld, it, along with others regularly imposed on other media organisations in the country's southeast region, would confirm that Turkey's undertakings are nothing more than a façade and that the regime continues its repression. We ask that you reverse this manifestly disproportionate measure," Ménard said in his letter.
Turkey's southeast region is home to a Kurdish majority and is governed by "exception laws" that are especially repressive on print and broadcast media. RTÜK has in the last few months taken a growing number of sanctions against media using the Kurdish language.