Turkish media watchdog ignores court order to end broadcast ban on corruption - official

Turkey’s state media watchdog is ignoring a ruling by the country’s highest legal body against a broadcast ban on reports about corruption by former ministers of the ruling party, Turkish news site İleri Haber reported on Friday.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled this week that a broadcast ban placed on reports on a December 2013 corruption probe that implicated four ministers of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) breached press freedom and freedom of expression laws.

The ruling related to a parliamentary commission set up to investigate the claims that high-ranking AKP officials had received bribes and were involved in other corrupt activities.

Four AKP ministers resigned as a result of the investigation. Yet the AKP says the investigations were a “coup attempt” launched by police and prosecutors who were members of the Gülen movement, a now-banned religious group that had been allied to the AKP before the investigations.

Despite the court’s decision Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) is yet to remove the ban on reports on the investigation, according to Faruk Bildirici, an opposition member of the RTÜK board.

“The RTÜK must remove the (broadcast ban) decision from its website. I have still not received a positive response to my application,” İleri Haber quoted Bildirici as saying.