January 4, 2022 | Newsweek

It’s Time to End CNN’s License for CNN Turk’s Hate Content

January 4, 2022 | Newsweek

It’s Time to End CNN’s License for CNN Turk’s Hate Content

Turkish media recently reported that CNN International is sending a team to Turkey to “look into its Turkish branch’s broadcasting policy,” which has been “under fire for its one-sided reports.” This belated move gives CNN an opportunity to disassociate its brand from one of the leading propaganda outlets of Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It is long overdue for CNN to revoke its license for CNN Turk and its hate content.

CNN‘s “sister network” CNN Turk started broadcasting in Turkey in 1999 and was a leading news outlet in its early years. The channel became synonymous with self-censorship when it aired a documentary on penguins in 2013 instead of reporting the Gezi Park protests, which witnessed countrywide demonstrations against the Erdogan government’s authoritarianism. Back then, even CNN mocked its sister network in Turkey for broadcasting the penguin documentary; it aired footage of a Turkish guest, during a live interview with CNN Turktaking off his shirt to reveal a penguin T-shirt underneath in protest of the broadcaster’s editorial policies.

These policies have taken a turn for the worse following CNN Turk‘s forced sale to a pro-government conglomerate in 2018. When asked whether the sale would cause CNN to reconsider licensing its name to CNN TurkCNN‘s worldwide executive vice president was noncommittal, saying, “If … we have any reason whatsoever to believe the journalistic integrity of the channel could be compromised by the new owners, we will revoke the license.” The spike in antisemitic, racist and conspiratorial content on CNN Turk‘s platforms since then shows that that time has arrived and passed.

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Issues:

Turkey