An open letter from the Turkish Hayat TV, to be closed down because it broadcasted Taksim

Hayat TV to close down

Hayat TV, a progressive Turkish TV channel of the working people, the youth, women and the intellectuals is facing closure.

We believe this is a blow to people’s freedom of information.

The decision for the closure is made by the broadcasting regulator RTÜK, Radio & Television High Commission with the pretext that Hayat TV has no licence.

This is not true.

Hayat TV has been broadcasting since 21 March 2007 by ofcom license via TURKSAT satellite. But a recent change in broadcasting rules via TURKSAT requires broadcasters to obtain a RTÜK license to be able to broadcast via satellite.

Our application for a RTÜK license has been submitted and pending for a decision. We have taken all the necessary steps and RTÜK agreed that we could carry on broadcasting as it is until a RTÜK license is granted.

However, RTÜK is now making an arbitrary decision to close down our channel because of, we believe, our broadcast of recent protests in Istanbul and across Turkey.

RTÜK says they investigated “the complaints received for our coverage of the Gezi Park protests” and made a decision for the closure.

We believe this closure is part of the overall repression on the media in Turkey during the more than two-week-long Gezi Park protests. Four other TV channels have been given a fine by RTUK because of their coverage of the recent events.

RTUK sent a letter to TURKSAT to put an end to Hayat TV broadcast at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, 14th June 2013.

We believe this arbitrary and unlawful decision should be reversed.

We call on all democratically minded people to show solidarity with Hayat TV.


Mustafa Kara

Hayat TV Broadcast Coordinator


(Red. Support freedom of press and spread this letter. For more info you can follow @koertdebeuf on Twitter)

  1. #1 by Kudret Cerkeskin on June 13, 2013 - 10:52 pm

    This is totally undemocratic and unacceptable.The government forces also beat up some young people resisting the closing down process fiercely regardless of their gender…This is horrifying especially from a government that has advertised itself as democratic…

  2. #3 by Mikko Karjalainen on June 13, 2013 - 11:26 pm

    Unbelievable. I am beginning to think that you really need to separate state and religion. And soon. Or you risk having Saudi kind of religious police on the streets, stoning people to death for wearing wrong clothes or symbols.

    • #4 by Kevin Kliman on June 19, 2013 - 6:53 pm

      Technology needs to sit outside of Nation states.

      Our app lets anyone start a high quality live broadcast that can be listened to on any phone or computer. Downloads in turkey have jumped in the last couple days….

      our team doesnt understand turkish, but is very interested to understand if people are picking it up for the protests. anyone want to help us?

  3. #6 by eusebio manuel vestias pecurto on June 14, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    A comunidade internacional deve fazer pressão sobre as autoridades da Turquia a sociedade civil têm todo o direito a ter a sua liberdade de expressão

  4. #7 by Koert Debeuf on June 14, 2013 - 2:19 pm

    Apparently, the regulator decided to postpone the closure of Hayat TV and will discuss the matter next Wednesday. Pressure on Twitter works…

  5. #8 by Saulius on June 19, 2013 - 9:07 am

    I’m following every thing from Lithuania. It’s incredible what’s happening in Turkey now, a country which was a step away from EU. I wish i could do something apart spreading the voice. Take your freedom back.

  6. #9 by Kev catchet on June 19, 2013 - 10:33 am

    From all in the uk, we are watching, don’t give up, no one can silence this generation!

  7. #10 by Roger Cole on June 19, 2013 - 11:13 am

    When the EU fanatics in Ireland were defeated in the Nice referendum they were forced to establish the Forum on Europe on which groups like PANA that opposed the militarisation of the EU were represented. At one meeting, the Turkish representative for negotiating Turkish membership of the EU made it very clear that one of the main reasons why Turkey should be allowed join the EU was because it had a large army. This Turkish State is now providing weapons to Syrian Salafi rebels, and closing down radio stations.
    When the Irish people voted to reject the Lisbon Treaty the Irish EU fanatics finally got fed up with all this democracy stuff and abolished the forum. They still support Turkish membership of the EU. This is not a surprise.

  8. #11 by Turk on June 19, 2013 - 11:56 am

    That’s good News. Because i don’t want a country governed by anarchism. No looting shops, no petrol bombs to police, no rapes etc. Yes these all happened last two weeks in Turkey, you haven’t heard about them because you are listening to the anarchist sources. Let me tell you the recent news since probably anarchist sources didn’t tell you this also, government decided to make a referendum, public voting, on the status of the park. And guess what, they don’t want it either. Additionally fyi, this government came to rule by election for three times. Long live true democracy. Have a nice day everyone.

    • #12 by Jonathan on June 19, 2013 - 1:14 pm

      The mater isn’t about vandalisme, wich ils always a sad news, it’s about freedom of speech, you canot ban a TV or a newspaper because it doesn’t please you politicaly.

      • #13 by volks on June 19, 2013 - 2:52 pm

        Don’t bother mate, if Turk had half a brain he/she would think before writing all that crap. But that is the problem, the country is in this situation because of morons that can’t think for themselves and have a fascist bastard screwing up the country, doing all the thinking for them. You would have to be an ignorant idiot not to see how the violence started against peaceful protesters, how people including women and kids were beaten by cops. They can go back to watching their documentary on penguins.

    • #14 by shigh on June 19, 2013 - 3:09 pm

      Well if you don’t want people riot on the streets, allow them to have a voice. By shutting down TV channels, silencing media outlets by self-censorship, Erdogan and his cronies caused the biggest riots the Turkish republic has ever seen. I’d like to remind you the Democracy is not only about elections that took every 4 years. It is also not about majorities rule over minority. Without a impartial justice system, without a free press you DO NOT have a Democracy.

  9. #15 by sakuraba on June 19, 2013 - 12:32 pm

    Why dont they just continue to broadcast on

  10. #16 by Jnelmondo on June 19, 2013 - 12:59 pm

    @10, long live democracy? Are you aware of the article you are commenting on and what it entails?

    I guess 99% of the world’s media is an anarchist source to you.

  11. #17 by Istanbulgibbs on June 19, 2013 - 2:03 pm

    Someone who only watched the censored government news might feel it is ‘anarchy’–but of course many CEOs, artists, and wll-to-do Turks are supporting the protests. The so-called referendum is illegal anyway, a court order already called a stop to the proposed construction but Erdoğan has decided to ignore the courts to throw the protesters a bone. Democracy? The violence that led up to the decision for the referendum–unprecedented police brutality, repression of media, mass arrests, and then the violence that followed–hurt and angered vast numbers of people. And all of this blamed on imaginary enemies that sound like a throw back to Stalin or the Nazi’s–mysterious Jewish cabals, secret forces, outside provocateurs. The İnterior Minister even called CNN terrorists. Something is seriously wrong with the Turkish government

  12. #18 by Lockchain on June 19, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    The fact of the matter dosent necessarily come down to freedom of speech, which of course is where the biggest part of the problem lies however the government is obviously to corrupt to even see that clearly what it’s doing is ex post facto plain and simple.

  13. #19 by mehmet on June 19, 2013 - 4:07 pm

    Am i the only one that sees that this Turkish government is not ran by the people, but the Prime Minister? How fucked up is that? I think every president all around the world should just be president for two terms than thats it.

  14. #20 by A. on June 20, 2013 - 6:37 am

    ignore the government. Get small, governed among small groups of community. Just dont give attention to the government, then what’s for them to be on top. Use money like bitcoin instead of bank.

    Democracy rules! (irony)

  15. #21 by Victor on June 20, 2013 - 6:01 pm

    When thinking about the Turkish protests, instead of patronizing their government about our western democracy, we should ask several questions:

    1) do the protests in our countries seem better handled:

    a. because the protestors behave better;

    b. because the police is better trained;

    c. because the abuses are better hidden;

    d. because the abuses are not reported by the press;

    2) in the case of protests that threatened the stability of the state (including a risk of coup d´etat) would our countries allow indefinite protests.

    3) given the economic crisis in the West, why haven´t our protests been bigger.

    4) given the level of opposition to austerity, why haven´t our governments been more responsive.

    After we consider our answers carefully and after we consider Turkey´s very complicated history, can we start to give the usual simplistic recommendations that have driven much of the Middle East to its current ingobernability.

    Personally, I think the Prime Minister has made several almost unforgivable mistakes. But the legitimacy of the opposition and the protestors would consist precisely in showing that they are more worthy than the Prime Minister by forgiving his tone and only holding him to account for his actions.

    Not a single European nation has in recent history had its leader toppled by mere protests if they did not lose parliamentary confidence. In order for a forceful expulsion from office by non-parliamentary means, it would have to be argued that prior elections were illegitimate or that Turkey since the last election has stopped being a democracy. Those are very high thresholds to cross, at least from Western democratic standards.

    So, from the Western point of view, was/is Turkey a developing democracy or an autocracy? Young democracies usually have these growing pains, but they can either lead to the consolidation of liberty or to its curtailing. The extremes of complete anarchy or repression are not answers.

    It is very hard to have real dialogue between two parties that want the complete supression of the other. If the protestors want their right to protest they need to also recognize the winning party´s right to govern or call for fresh elections. Any transition that doesn´t follow democratic channels would be against the rule of law. Without rule of law there can only be temporary liberty.

  16. #22 by steve on June 21, 2013 - 2:58 am

    Note with all the violance that Erodgen has caused, the US say nothing. This Guy is a menace to Turkey and is a US Shill

  17. #23 by iez on June 29, 2013 - 11:16 am

    At about 12:30 pm Belgian time (UGT+2): radio interview (in English) with Mehmet Ozer of Hayat TV on Radio Centraal, Antwerp – live stream @ – or listen later when the interview is published on