An independent television channel which has been critical of the Turkish government and state was blacked out indefinitely today.
IMC TV, an independent channel set up in 2011 was blacked out today during a live interview with journalists Erdem Gül and Can Dündar, who were released on bail today for alleged espionage offences. The journalists had reported the passage of truck loads of artillery and military equipment to jihadist forces in Syria through Turkey, allegedly sent by the Turkish government.
Ankara Chief Prosecutor Ramazan Dinç demanded the suspension of the channel’s frequency by the General Directorate of the private satellite operator Türksat Company, who seemingly complied immediately. The channel has been accused of “spreading the propaganda of a terrorist organisation.”
In a statement about the blackout the IMC TV Management Committee said Türksat had bypassed RTÜK, the Radio and TV Higher Committee and had ceded to the pressure by authorities and blacked out the broadcast illegally.
IMC TV had also been targeted recently by pro-government media and calls had been made for its closure due to its reporting from Kurdish areas under martial lockdown and siege. Free media has increasingly been put under pressure and attacked in Turkey as journalists and reporters have been killed, arrested and imprisoned by state forces.