Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Turkey: Politicians Banned from Public Service Messages

(Feb. 1, 2013)

It was reported on January 24, 2013, that Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council (Radyo ve Televizyonüst Kurulu, or RTÜK) has approved a new regulation that bans politicians from appearing in public service announcements (PSAs). The ban includes the country’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (RTÜK Bans Politicians from TV PSAs Despite Ruling Party Dissent, HÜRRIYET DAILY NEWS (Jan. 24, 2013).)

All the votes in opposition to the ban came from members of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, AKP) on the committee, including Davut Dursun, the head of the RTÜK. Last year, the Prime Minister had appeared in a PSA urging families to send their daughters to school. (RTÜK Bans Politicians from TV PSAs Despite Ruling Party Dissent, supra; AK Parti English website (last visited Jan. 24, 2013).)

The RTÜK was established “as an impartial public legal entity” with broader authority and responsibilities than the organization that preceded it. There are nine council members, all of whom are elected by the Grand National Assembly, Turkey’s parliament, for terms of six years. The members elect from among themselves a president and vice-president, with the president serving a two-year term. (Radio and Television Supreme Council, RTÜK website (last visited Jan. 24, 2013).)