Wednesday, 7 June 2022
One of the directors of BRTK Meryem Özkurt, has been sentenced to two month imprisonment for not complying with the election bans in October 2020, Kibris Postasi reported.
In her statement following sentencing, Özkurt said that five other private television broadcasters had made the same broadcast on that day but had not been charged with the same offence.
She said that on that day, she did not know that Turkish Cypriot politicians would address the public.
On October 6, 2020, during the presidential elections, a ceremony was held to mark the resumption of water flowing from Turkey via undersea pipeline to the Geçitköy reservoir after eight months when repairs were completed. This event was broadcast live on six TV channels, including BRTK.
The ceremony was attended by the TRNC Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dursun Oğuz and the Turkish Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli. Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also attended the ceremony via videoconference.
Özkurt said the following: “We agreed on the broadcast that day that TRNC politicians would not speak. Although we agreed that only Turkish politicians would speak, unfortunately, TRNC politicians took the podium one by one and gave speeches. Along with BRT, all private channels and web TVs made this broadcast, except SIM TV.
“I still believe in doing public broadcasting today. I don’t believe I deserve this punishment. When there are so many thieves, fraudsters, and bureaucrats in the country undeservedly sitting in their offices, and there is no doubt about them. I cannot digest this punishment given to me and the practices [which led to it].
“After this broadcast I made for my country, I am curiously waiting for the attitude of the politicians in the face of this punishment given to me”.
None of the the executives of Kıbrıs TV, Genç TV, Kanal T, Diyalog TV and Ada TV, which broadcast on the same date and at the same time, were sued for broadcasting the event during the election bans.
Özkurt’s lawyer Feyzi Hansel said that the sentence was exorbitant and without precendent and that they will file an appeal against the sentencing today.