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Government censors coverage of PKK attack to allegedly protect "people's morale and psychology"

(BIANET/IFEX) - The government has cited Article 25 of Law 3984 of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) in order to introduce a broadcasting ban on the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) attacks in the Daglica region of Hakkari in which 13 soldiers died on 21 October 2007. The article is called "Banning of Publications/Broadcasts".

After Cabinet Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek applied it to RTÜK on 23 October, radio and television institutions were informed of the broadcasting ban.

The text calls for an end to "radio and television broadcasts which negatively affect public order and the people's morale, which show a weak image of the security forces and which negatively affect social psychology."

Deniz Baykal, chair of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), accused the government of practicing "censorship". According to NTV, Baykal also said: "The national soul is rebelling. You cannot fail to act."

Article 25 of Law 3984 on Radio and Television Enterprises and Broadcasts reads: "Broadcasts cannot be audited or stopped in advance unless there are legal decisions. However, when national security clearly requires it, or when there is a strong possibility of public order breaking down, then the Prime Minister or an assigned minister can stop broadcasts."

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