The Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, President Zahid Akman decided to shut down 11 channels belonging to the Doğan Media Corporation's D-Smart, along with several other channels, because they had not acquired the necessary broadcasting licenses.This method is not unknown: you make it impossible for companies to acquire the documentation they need and then you close them down for not having said documentation.
Şaban Sevinç, an RTÜK member who voted against the closures, said RTÜK ignored license requests from these channels for two years and that their decision was linked to the Lighthouse e.V. affair.
“Akman deliberately left the applications pending so that he could have leverage over the channel owners,” Sevinç told the Turkish Daily News yesterday. “In 2007, after a brawl between Akman and D-Smart, he sent a warning to the company to stop their unlicensed broadcasts.”
For the moment it is possible to challenge and criticize.
Hürriyet editor-in-chief Ertuğrul Özkök noted the suspicious nature of the RTÜK decision and pointed out a recent frequency change by Türksart Company. Türksart is responsible for satellite broadcasting and recently set about rearranging the order of television channels, burying Doğan Media Corporation's flagship Channel D at 41st in line.Well, um, now that you ask, no.
"Do you think these two developments are coincidental?" asked Özkök in his article published yesterday.
Attempts to remove Zahid Akman from the post are continuing and his involvement in dubious commercial ventures are widely publicized (presumably why he is trying to shut down certain TV stations). The ruling AK Party is doing all it can to keep him in place.