The case of Olay TV – A new low in Turkish Broadcasting History

Privately owned Olay TV has been subject to intense questioning by pro-government circles over its nonpartisan coverage of news stories and has been shut down after just 26 days on air on National TV. 

Suleyman Sarilar, Chief Editor of the channel said that Cavit Caglar (the channel’s owner) claimed he is under “great pressure from government and can not continue with this broadcasting team.” On the other hand Caglar also said he deemed the station’s editorial line was too pro-Kurdish and has personally decided to shut the channel down. 

Caglar, a controversial business figure and also a former Turkish government minister in 1990s, said “I have been active in centre-right politics and served this country. I was unsettled by the broadcasts of Olay TV’s editorial team”. 

In terms of media freedom we are already witnessing one of the most difficult periods in Turkey. Media ownership is concentrated in the hands of a few companies which are allied with Islamist AKP and has overlapping ownership in almost every sector in the country. 

Numerous independent TV channels, including Hayat TV and IMC TV were closed down in the last 5 years on the pretext of terrorism charges. As part of this ongoing suppression campaign, closure of Olay TV due to the hidden pressure mechanisms of the AKP regime, reflects a new low in Turkish broadcasting history. 

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