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Government ban on broadcasts about PKK attack overturned; prime minister criticises decision

(BIANET/IFEX) - The Union of Judges and Prosecutors (YARSAV) has reacted to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments on the decision by the State Council's 13th Chamber to stop the ban on broadcasts relating to the 21 October 2007 Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attack in Daglica, Hakkari, calling the prime minister's comments "lacking in legal judgement, deliberate and extremely unfortunate".

The government had banned broadcasts about the attack, but the State Council later overruled the decision, upon an appeal by the Kanaltürk TV channel.

At a meeting of provincial party leaders of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on 2 November, Erdogan criticised the State Council's decision.

Referring to "a known TV channel" in his criticism, Erdogan said: "Our government wanted to ban broadcasts. It used the legal paths for that. And there are rights which the government has and which it wants to use. . . . But then you see that a TV channel makes an appeal, a known one. In response, another institution decides in that direction. This makes us think: You cannot see anything like this in any other country in the world. Enough is enough.

"Is it right that our televisions show our martyrs every day, and all operations in an agitated manner? Those who watch the country from those TV channels believe that there is war all over the country."

Erdogan added that he expected "sensitivity" from all channels: "If all our institutions cannot show the same sensitivity, then whether we want to or not, we start to think differently. It comes down to opposing the government. The reason I say this so clearly is because I am hurting. I am hurting for this country, for this nation."

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