Turkey TV Watchdog Favors Ruling Party in Airtime, Hurriyet Says

Turkey’s radio and television watchdog has failed to ensure fairness in elections by allowing television broadcasts to favor politicians from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party with airtime, Hurriyet said.

The watchdog, known as RTUK, is obligated to audit television channels to ensure fairness among channels handing pre-electoral airtime to politicians and has neglected its duties to do so, according to a report by RTUK member Hulya Alp and cited by columnist Yalcin Dogan. Alp has filed a court case against her organization, according to Hurriyet.

One channel provided six hours and 22 minutes of airtime to ruling party candidates before last year’s elections, while providing two minutes of airtime to the opposition, Hurriyet cited Alp’s report as saying. Another gave eight hours and 41 minutes of coverage to the governing party versus nine minutes of coverage to the main opposition party, it said.

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