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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Talat accuses ‘state’ media of sidelining him ]

Talat accuses ‘state’ media of sidelining him

TURKISH Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday rounded on his own ‘state’ broadcaster Bayrak Radio and Television (BRT), accusing its directors of “shamefully hostile and manipulative” broadcasting.

“The state broadcaster has no right to bring on the most hostile people as presenters to ridicule and abase our policy of reconciliation,” Talat said yesterday shortly after finishing the latest round of UN-sponsored reunification talks with Greek Cypriot president Demetris Christofias.

“I am extremely tolerant of a wide range of views,” Talat said, but added: “The state broadcaster cannot ridicule state policy. It can criticise state policy, but it can’t ridicule it”

Since its running was taken over by the right-wing National Unity Party (UBP) in April, Talat has found himself increasingly at odds with ‘state’ broadcaster BRT. Yesterday he accused the UBP ‘government’ of taking over the channel.

The BRT directors, headed by current ‘prime minister’ Dervish Eroglu’s former spokesman Ozer Kanli, recently came under fire from left-wing political parties for seeking to implement a policy aimed at removing the Turkish Cypriot dialect from TV and Radio broadcasts.

While not referring to the dialect issue yesterday, Talat complained that BRT exaggerated the achievements of the ‘government’ while pushing himself and opposition parties out of the limelight. BRT had even gone so far as interfering with his keynote speech during a military parade to mark the anniversary of the breakaway state on November 15, he said.

“As if the president held no importance at all, they kept putting a stream of other news on the screen,” Talat said, adding that BRT had “tried many ways” to push him out of the picture.

Talat’s problem is that under the political system in the north, ‘state’ corporations are run by the party currently in power. Until April, Talat’s former party the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) ran BRT. But now the UBP run the corporation and are becoming increasingly hostile towards Talat and his aim of creating a federal state jointly run by Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The party strongly support the idea of two ethnically separate states on Cyprus. Furthermore, the party’s leader and current ‘prime minister’ Dervish Eroglu will try to remove Talat from the ‘presidency’ in April next year.

Head of BRT Ozer Kanli was yesterday unavailable for comment.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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