Turkish digital TV scam alleged
on 29-06-2008

Turkish TV, still reeling with anxiety over the transfer of the ATV Sabah operation, is again in the middle of turmoil. This time, according to Istanbul daily Yeni Safak, the main opposition political party (the CHP) has – allegedly illegally – transferred cash to the Halk TV channel, and other broadcasters. The newspaper alleges that the CHP shifted $700,000 directly to Halk TV over the past three years or so in order to pay Halk’s fees to be on the DigiTurk satellite platform. The main opposition party is also said to have paid for the devices and equipment used by the station.

It is also alleged that the CHP has also paid even larger sums to Kanalturk, another local station. Kanalturk is said to have received up to $3.5m. This allegation is now the subject of a police inquiry following on from a Finance Ministry investigation.

Article 69 of Turkey’s Constitution and Article 67 of the Law on Political Parties, says political parties cannot engage in commercial activities. If the Constitutional Court now finds that money was transferred between the CHP and Kanaltürk in violation of the Constitution, CHP officials will face up to one year in jail.