The future of Turkish public broadcaster TRT and its employees in peril


The future of Turkish public broadcaster TRT and its employees in peril

In a joint statement, HABER-SEN, Turkey representing workers in public service broadcasting and UNI Global Union-media entertainment & arts, express their concern with the impact of the new regulations affecting the future of TRT and its staff.

The Emergency Decree Law No. 703, which has been issued under the State of Emergency encourages about 2100 staff to retire from TRT. the trade union organisations fear that the Decree represents a measure to force employees of TRT to retire. Further, measures are taken to dislocate or transfer about 3000 staff to other public institutions, while TRT will receive staff from other institutions.

HABER-SEN and UNI MEI call for reconsideration of the new rules governing employment at TRT and urge authorities to protect staff and commit to a sustainable development of public service media.

The danger of new rules also concern the quality, independence and diversity of public service broadcasting. Presidential Decrees No. 3 and No. 4 introduced new provisions regulating TRT, which enable the President to govern TRT and its policies with no parliamentary checks and balances. Furthermore, accreditation of all media staff is transferred under the responsibility of the Presidential Office. The Emergency Decree will put limitations on the mandate of management and the Executive Board of the public broadcaster. In addition, the new powers of the Ministry of Culture over the Supreme Board of Radio and Television, RTUK may threaten its role as autonomous institution and will further diminish the democratic oversight of public broadcasting.

HABER-SEN and UNI MEI  call on authorities to review their decisions and to protect the democratic, societal and cultural functions of public servicing broadcasting, which contribute to sustaining an open, diverse and inclusive society.