The IPI global network today warned that the most recent appointments to the executive board of Turkey’s state-run Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) by President Erdoğan risk a further loss of impartiality and push the public broadcaster to become an absolute state-propaganda outlet.
On July 14, 2021, TRT’s entire executive board was replaced by a presidential decree, which also increased the number of board members from seven to nine (due in part to a decision to split the role of executive board chair and TRT managing director, which was previously held by one person). Most of the newly appointed names are known for their close relations to the government and AKP officials, including the son of the current Minister of Labor and Social Security Vedat Bilgin and pro-government Sabah daily columnist Hilal Kaplan. Kaplan’s columns have been known to spread misleading information or disinformation against government critics, including journalists. The new appointments have created a public outcry due to the members’ perceived affiliations.