New RTUK Bill: Family, Language and Culture Protected

This is a news item from Hurriyet Daily News.  Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc comments on the new RTUK (Radio and Television Supreme Council)

Turkish Parliament discusses new RTÜK bill

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Thursday, October 21, 2010

Parliament’s Constitution Committee on Thursday discussed a new bill that would bring harsher punishments to media institutions for controversial content.

The Constitution Committee met to discuss the new Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, law, which brings heavy fines to TV shows that include racy images or use vulgar language.

Discussions were ongoing when the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to print late Thursday.

Speaking during discussions, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who oversees RTÜK, said media institutions already expected such a bill.

He also said Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, or TRT, was outside the supervision of RTÜK and that RTÜK should also oversee TRT broadcasts in the same way it does private televisions.

The issue had been a hot topic recently, as complaints about certain shows reached record highs.

Blood and battles limited

Under the draft bill, footage of terror and violence will be drastically curtailed, in order to prevent support for the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK’s, cause.

Bloody explosions, clashes between Turkish security forces and terrorists, and images of those injured in conflict will be banned.

RTÜK has also banned airing scenes where a family is informed of their son’s death in combat.

If a channel supports terror and the division of religious sects or goes against the principles of Atatürk as defined in the Constitution, their license will be revoked after only one warning.

Programs that “evoke hate in public, encourage breaking the law and exploit or constrain women” will have to pay a fine of at least 10,000 Turkish Liras, without prior warning.

Family, language, culture protected

Hit primetime TV shows have received reactions from the public for “damaging the structure of family,” prompting RÜTK to also ban racy scenes from TV shows.

Also prompted by a leading TV show, the new law protects the Turkish language by not only banning vulgar language but also requiring that Turkish be used correctly.

An interesting regulation has been brought to cartoons and children’s shows: At least 20 percent of cartoons and 40 percent of other children’s programs must be made in Turkey and must contain elements of Turkish culture.

Radio and television stations, in set rates and times, must air programs featuring Turkish folk music and Turkish classical music.

Media bosses to own only four TV channels

The draft law prevents political parties and other institutions and associations from owning TV channels.

Media bosses and corporations are being restricted too, with the law stating that a single person or corporation can own only four TV channels.

Important events, as defined by RTÜK, will have to be aired without a code and without any monetary charges.

© 2009 Hurriyet Daily News