Two Responses to Jailing of BRT Executive

North Cyprus News - Meryem Ozkurt
[Meryem Özkurt – BRTK]
Wednesday, 7 June 2022

Following the sentencing of a BRTK director to two months imprisonment for breaking the election bans in October 2020, Minister of Public Works and Transport, Chairman of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arıklı made a statement in parliament about this event, Kibris Postasi reported.

Arıklı stated that BRT Director Meryem Özkurt, who made public broadcasting on the occasion of the reopening of the Geçitköy reservoir during the presidential elections, was sentenced to a 2-month prison sentence said, “The sentence is extremely exorbitant. No other penalty was given [to other broadcasters]”, he said.

Stating that they are waiting for an explanation from the CTP and other left-wing parties on this issue, Arıklı said:

Normally, in a punishment given to another press worker, for fulfilling his duty here when the apocalypse broke out, for broadcasting that opening event, which all channels other than SIM TV also broadcasted, no criminal case was brought against them, including Turkish television broadcasters. It is unacceptable to be tried and arrested with such a heavy penalty”.

Arıklı stated that “it is necessary to be transparent in the selection of judges and prosecutors in the judiciary. The criteria are completely their own. This raises serious question marks over the decisions made by the judges”.

Ms Meryem Özkurt has fulfilled her public duty, she has fulfilled the duty given to her under BRT regulations“, Arıklı said, adding that, according to the evidence Özkurt gave at the court, “it was not known whether local administrators or candidates would speak there“.

Arıklı said, “I’m sorry, I hope an appeal will be made very urgently and a decision will be made“.

Mayor of North Nicosia - Mehmet Harmanci
[Mayor of North Nicosia Mehmet Harmanci]
Meanwhile, in a separate article, Kibris Postasi reported that North Nicosia Mayor Mehmet Harmancı said on social media after BRTK Director Meryem Özkurt was sentenced to two months in prison for violating the election ban.

Unfortunately, the relationship between the BRT and the opposition for the last three  years is at the most acute point possible. Except for obligatory circumstances and individual initiatives, the channel is almost like the UBP’s media organ”.

Harmancı continued: “Of course, those who gave the order for the broadcast in question, the politicians who made a rash speech despite the election bans, and the officials who knew very well that this opening was an interference in the election are as guilty as the BRT Director.

“However, it is also a lesson for bureaucracy and administrators who say “this is the order” and do not question the compliance of the orders with the law“.

Kibris Postasi

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