CNN Turk has once again been strongly criticized after it censored Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu’s victory speech. The channel instead aired a discussion of pro-government journalists.
In a previous incident, CNN Türk suddenly cut a live broadcast featuring Imamoglu and switched to a speech by Erdoğan, two weeks before the March 31 vote.
CNN International decided to take action to keep the channel’s media standards following complaints from Turkish media houses and the main opposition party CHP.
“CNN staff members will work with CNN Turk staff in the coming days to ensure CNN Turk adheres to the US-based news network’s standards,” a CNN spokesperson told Ahval in a written statement on Tuesday evening.
“We are aware of criticism from some Turkish media surrounding CNN Turk’s election coverage. CNN Turk is an independent channel, which licenses the CNN brand, but as part of this agreement must also adhere to CNN’s standards,” CNN’s statement said.
Demiroren Holding, which awarded big tenders from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, purchased the Doğan media group in early 2018 at a price of $916 million.
The group owned CNN TURK after Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party shut down more than 150 media houses or transferred many big media groups to his supporters through state funds.
Since the Demiroren Group took over CNN Turk, the channel openly sided with the ruling party and allocated high time coverage for AKP in the June 2018 national elections and 31st March local elections. CNN gave wide coverage to Erdoğan’s rallies during the campaigns.
CHP urged CNN to investigate its Turkish branch for censoring and creating fake news about the party’s election campaign. CNN Turk was also criticized for reporting false news that pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party co-chair Sezai Temelli mentioned that his party would gain control of municipalities won by candidates from other opposition parties.
Ahval news portal reported that they sent eight questions to CNN International’s president Rani Raad, whose remit includes CNN Turk, asking about the links between CNN and CNN Türk, including the franchise fee paid by the Turkish channel.
Raad who met with Erdogan and his spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin on May 9, 2018, at his palace in Ankara has yet to respond to Ahval’s questions.
CNN says it will train CNN Turk in objective journalism.
“Too little, too late?” Turkish journalist Ilhan Tanir commented in a tweet.