Open Letter From A Closed TV Station

The Turkish Hayat TV may be the first, but hardly the last public broadcaster that will be forced to close down as a result of the EU leaders desperate battle to control the flow of information. Similar attempts have been observed in Russia,, Spain, Greece and in Estonia, among others. Over the next couple of years we’ll see a real battle of power – and the ultimate test of traditional journalism. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner.

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

Mustafa Kara

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Last Friday, June 14, 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.

A few minutes later Mustafa Kara at Hayat TV wrote and published the following open letter to the world:

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.

hayat tvMustafa Kara

Hayat TV Broadcast Coordinator

TUR03

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Estonia

In 2010 the Estonian government put forward a new law making it illegal for news media to hide their sources. Allowing the police to jail journalists for a year, or give fines equal to 500 days pay, if they refused to reveal their sources.

Estonian Newspapers Protesting With Blank Front Page

MORE ON ESTONIA:

Swedbank Buy Greek Bonds With Estonian Money

An Estonian Mystery

“SEB Robbed Customers,” Whistleblower Says

Swedbank In Estonia: “Daylight Robbery”

European Union

About the same time the EU also starts hunting for the journalists sources.

EU Hunts For Journalist’s Sources

Media Freedom Threatened In Most European Countries

Greece

GREECE-ECONOMY-MEDIA

The Greek state broadcaster the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) stayed on the airwaves on Wednesday (12 June), defying plans by the leading party in the country’s coalition government to close it down, euobserver.com reports.

The network was taken off the air shortly after 11pm on Tuesday night in the latest chapter of the country’s financial crisis.

The Greek government used a ministerial decree, which has since been signed by President Karolos Papoulias to end ERT’s transmissions, leaving citizens sitting in front of black screens.

The government has sacked all 2,500 ERT employees, but revealed plans to reopen the company within two months as an independent broadcaster with 1,200 staff.

And All The Others

In December 2010 the Palestinian Authority officials shut-down 12 independent West Bank radio and television stations.

putin-660 I have lost count of how many broadcasters Russian president, Vladimir Putin, have brought to silence, but here’s few. On June 16, 2003, the independent broadcaster, TVs, was shuttered by the government and converted into a state-run sports channel. In early 2002, TV6, was abruptly pulled off the air in a dispute with a Kremlin-connected minority shareholder, and in 2000, the predecessor NTV Network was in effect nationalized after its largest creditor, the state-connected energy conglomerate, called in its debts. The network’s owner was arrested, and later went into exile.

Last summer the Iraq government ordered the closure of 44 news organizations, including a US-funded radio station. Most of the 44 newspapers, radio and television stations targeted for shutdown was Iraqi, although foreign broadcasters including the BBC and Voice of America was on the list, as well as the US-funded Radio Sawa. The BBC and Voice of America have since permanently closed their news operations in Iraq.

This list could go on for a week or so….

More of the Same:

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All Human Rights Reserved (h) 2013

2 thoughts on “Open Letter From A Closed TV Station

  1. Pingback: What Journalists Thinks About Journalism | Rational Arrogance

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