ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Turkey’s state Radio and Television Corporation TRT kept 208 songs, 142 of them in Turkish, and 66 in Kurdish, in the blacklist, an opposition lawmaker has revealed.
MP Atilla Sertel of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) released a report by the state’s top Court of Audit on Wednesday, detailing the songs and singers banned by the public-funded TRT.
It listed “terrorist propaganda” and “contravention of general morality” found in the songs’ lyrics as the two main reasons behind the ban.
Sertel condemned the authorities and likened the regulation to the harsh measures taken against music by the 1980 military junta that banned hundreds of songs and prevented scores of singers from performing.
There were also two TV programs and 38 advertisements that were not to be aired.
“The prohibitionist mindset has risen from the grave,” he tweeted.
In a statement, the TRT said Sertel’s revelation and reports on media were not “fully accurate.”
The corporation defended itself by pointing at the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK), adding the “duty not to air content which incentivized children to smoking and drinking, and that disseminated terrorist propaganda” belonged to all broadcasters and not only TRT.
RTUK is the state watchdog with powers to fine or suspend private media outlets for breaching its regulations, such as kissing scenes in TV series, or not blurring alcoholic drinks and cigarettes.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag denied that the state media was censoring content.
“It is immoral to suggest as if this is happening the first time. TRT is doing its job. Other TVs, too, should do the same,” Bozdag told reporters in Ankara.
Among the songs blacklisted by the TRT were singles and albums by popular Turkish soloists, among them Onur Akin, Sila, Koray Avcı, Nukhet Duru, Bengu, Demet Akalın, and Nazan Oncel.
Syrian Kurdish vocalist Ciwan Haco, the late Mihemed Shexo, the late Armenian singer of Kurdish traditional “dengbej” music Karapete Xaco, Hozan Dino, Rojda, Mem Ararat, Seyda Perincek, and the band Agire Jiyan were in the Kurdish list.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany