28 December 2018:
Turkish prosecutors investigate news anchor targeted by Erdoğan
Turkish prosecutors in Istanbul have started investigating Fox TV news anchor Fatih Portakal for inciting criminal activity after he questioned the ability of the Turkish people to protest freely, Sözcü newspaper reported .
Portakal had been targeted by the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the past two weeks for saying on television that the Turkish people were afraid to take part in peaceful demonstrations. He also criticised Ankara’s response to the ongoing yellow vest protests in France as hypocritical.
“Do you think we can do it? How many people will be able to take to the streets without fear?” Portakal said on Turkey’s Fox TV. “For the sake of God, can you tell me how many people would demonstrate? They are trying to discourage social opposition and keep it under pressure. It is a most natural right, but it cannot be exercised. Whether it’s France or Turkey, it doesn’t really matter all that much,‘’
In a statement on Dec. 17, Erdoğan said that Portakal was inciting protests in Turkey. “Some person is out calling people onto the streets. Know your place and if you don’t know your place, then the people of this country will,” he said.
Osmanlı Ocakları, a nationalist religious group that supports Erdoğan, held demonstrations against Portakal in front of Fox TV’s headquarters in Istanbul on Thursday. No one was apprehended by police.
“You should know that 52 percent of people in this country are waiting at home and gritting their teeth,” the group said in a statement.
In a decision this week, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Turkey’s national broadcast regulator, imposed a three-day suspension on Fox TV’s Prime News Bulletin, which is presented by Portakal.
Prosecutors on Friday asked Fox TV to provide recordings of the news bulletin and said that they had compiled 16 different complaints against Portakal filed in various cities in Turkey. Source
Turkey’s Erdoğan accuses news anchor of inciting protests
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blasted Fox TV news anchor Fatih Portakal on Monday for a second time for saying last week that it was not possible to hold a peaceful protest in Turkey for fear of the government, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.
“Some person is out calling people onto the streets. Know your place and if you don’t know your place, then the people of this country will,” Erdoğan said, in reference to Portakal.
Portakal last week said that people are afraid to take the streets in protest, while criticising Ankara’s response to the ongoing yellow vest protests in France as being hypocritical.
“Do you think we can do it? How many people will be able to take the streets without fear? For the sake of God, can you tell me how many people would demonstrate? They are trying to discourage social opposition and keep it under pressure. It is a most natural right, but cannot be exercised. Whether it’s France or Turkey, it doesn’t really matter all that much,‘’ Portakal said on air.
Erdoğan has accused French police of using excessive violence against yellow vests protesters, who are in their fifth week of demonstrations that began as protests against a rise in fuel taxes, but now address other issues, including education reform.
The Turkish president has said the yellow vests protest movement reveals Europe’s failure in democracy, human rights and freedom.
Portakal’s statements have drawn criticism from pro-government circles and one group of people has filed a legal complaint against him.
Ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) spokesperson Ömer Çelik has said he does not see calls to protest in Turkey as innocent while government ally and leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli last week said that anyone in Turkey that emulated the yellow vest protests in France and other European countries would pay a heavy price. Source
The third hearing of a trial where Evrensel daily’s Editor-in-Chief Fatih Polat stands accused of “disclosing the private communication between two individuals” was held on 6 December in Istanbul.
The accusation stems from a news story published in Evrensel on 22 February 2010 -- when Polat was the responsible managing editor of the daily. The story covered the leaked tapes of an alleged phone conversation between former Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek and former AKP MP Burhan Kuzu.
The 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance of Istanbul adjourned the trial until 7 March 2019, awaiting an expert report as to when Evrensel reported about the tapes.
5 November 2018:
Anchor admits Fox TV avoided broadcasting opposition deputy’s speech
Turkey’s Fox TV anchor Fatih Portakal on Monday admitted that they had avoided broadcasting an opposition deputy’s speech in parliament due to fear of legal repercussions, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.
Felicity Party (SP) deputy Cihangir İslam’s speech in parliament on Oct. 31 is under investigation by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Following his address, the pro-government media accused him of supporting the plotters of a failed coup in 2016.
“The 2016 coup attempt is a pretext, [the government] dismisses all dissidents, all those who tell the truth to their face. You’re not worshipping God, you’re worshipping an ordinary man,” İslam said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Fox TV reported on the investigation into İslam’s speech but did not cover the content of his remarks.
“Unfortunately we censored ourselves because we didn’t know what would happen to us. I admit it,” Portakal said on air.
“If a deputy was being investigated over those remarks, the same prosecutor would launch an investigation into us for disseminating those words. This is shameful,” he added.
Turkey has become the biggest jailer of journalists in the world in addition to using legal proceedings against media outlets to silence them. Source
Trial against Evrensel editor in chief Fatih Polat resumes
Evrensel editor-in-chief Fatih Polat on 13 September appeared before an Istanbul court for the second hearing of a trial concerning a news story published in Evrensel on 22 February 2010, when Polat was the newspaper’s responsible managing editor.
11 June 2018:
Turkey’s FOX TV anchorman Portakal says he has received a death threat
“This is the result of the horrible political climate that politicians have created in this country,” Portakal wrote on Twitter on Dec. 19, sharing a message sent to him.
“I’m being blunt: I will kill Fatih Portakal … I will also kill the owner of FOX TV for employing a traitor [like Portakal],” read the threatening messages that he shared.
“How could this person be so blind as to write such sentences?” Portakal wrote, adding that he has taken legal action, “as before.”
Aytun Çıray, an executive member of the recently-formed İYİ (Good) Party, defended Portakal against the threatening message.
“Those who threaten and try to stir chaos are the traitors of this country and the traitors of us all,” Çıray’s wrote on Twitter on Dec. 20.
However, Çıray, a former Health Ministry undersecretary, also added that “saying ‘politicians’ [are responsible for a such climate] is unacceptable, as it will only diminish hopes of creating a parliamentary democracy.”
“If the diagnosis is wrong, the treatment is a nightmare,” he said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Barış Yarkadaş also voiced support for Portakal with a post shared on his Twitter account on Dec. 20.
“We are warning those who fail to take precautions against journalists and those who continue to persist in journalism,” Yarkadaş wrote. Source