A game show. State broadcaster TRT 1 is broadcasting a game show after the announcement that governing AK Party will not be closed down for anti-secular activities. TRT 2 and 3 are not much better: faithfully the TRT cameras (the only ones allowed in parliament) are recording parliamentary proceedings. Interesting, a debate about education.
But of course, TRT is not a news channel, even though it interrrupts the game show briefly for a newsflash containing mainly facts and not too many comments. That’s the nice thing about TRT, but at the same time irritating. In Turkey there’s always a lot of speculation about which partly defines the dynamics of politics. For example, take the recent bombings in Istanbul. The facts: 17 people killed, more than 150 wounded. PKK methods. The fact that there was a lot of speculation about the coincidence of the bombing coming one day before the Constitutional Court started debating the closure of the AK Party, well TRT doesn’t concern itself too much with that. For that angle you have to switch to news channel NTV, which serves up the speculations without too much sensationalism. To find that you need to switch to, for example, Show TV or Star or similar channels, which use all sorts of dramatic music to emphasize the news. Lots of news about soapstars and dime a dozen singers, but this time also the more serious news. Heavy music, and in big red letters diagonally across the screen: KAPATILMADI! (“NOT CLOSED!”). Well, what more would you want to know?
(Column written for weekly media magazine VARA TV Magazine)