06/13/2013 08:06 am ET

Local News Stations Fined In Turkey By State Agency For Coverage Of Protests: Report


A number of TV networks in Turkey have reportedly been punished for their coverage of the Occupy Gezi protests. The protests have rocked the secular Muslim nation for nearly two weeks straight.

The Radio and Television Supreme Council, Turkey's state-run media sanctioning agency, handed out fines to at least four Turkish TV channels, according to a report Wednesday by Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News, saying their coverage of the recent Gezi Park protests had harmed "the physical, moral and mental development of children and young people."

Read the full report in the Hurriyet Daily News.

Since the protests began, Turkish news outlets (many of which are almost completely controlled by the government) have come under fire for ignoring the demonstrations in Istanbul and across the country.

"The Turkish media have embarrassed themselves," Koray Caliskan, a political scientist at Istanbul's Bosphorus University, told The Guardian earlier this month. "While the whole world was broadcasting from Taksim Square, Turkish television stations were showing cooking shows."

Police have reportedly used jammers to block social media communication in Istanbul's Taksim Square, where the protests began, Sky News reported earlier.

The protests turned violent on May 31 when riot police aggressively deployed water cannons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators who had occupied a city park to protest its demolition. Since then, the movement has spread to over 70 cities across the country, attracting tens of thousands of people each night.

Turkey has had a long history of imprisoning journalists and reporters, which critics say is one of the ways it silences dissenters.



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