NEW YORK—Last week saw the closing of at least 20 television and radio stations by the Turkish government under the justification of Cabinet Decree 668, which allows for such shutdowns to any media outlet on “national security” grounds.
Reports differ on the number of stations closed, between 20 and 23, and Turkish broadcast regulator Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu (RTÜK) and government controlled satellite operator Türksat have not issued regarding the matter.
Reports indicate that the stations shut down comprise pro-Kurdish and leftist stations, including a Kurdish-language station for children. Press reports indicate that Türksat stopped carrying the stations’ signals on the night of Sept. 28 following an order from RTÜK.
These closures comes after the Turkish government also shut down various newspapers, magazines and stations following the failed military coup in July.
The Committee to Protect Journalist has called for the immediate reversal of the order and for the Turkish government to allow all the stations to continue broadcasting without interference. “After silencing much of the critical press, Turkey is now targeting a wide swath of cultural and political expression by shuttering minority broadcasters,” said Robert Mahoney, CPJ deputy executive director. “When the government sees even children’s programming as a threat to national security, it is clearly abusing its emergency powers.”
This story originally appeared on TVT's sister publication Radio World.