Turkish opposition slams Erdoğan hirings at national broadcaster TRT
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) slammed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his new executive hirings at state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).
“Not a day passes by without (the president) shaping a public institution in line with his own and his party’s interests. Now, it’s time for TRT,” CHP deputy leader Özgür Özel said on Wednesday, Diken news web site reported.
Erdoğan made nine new appointments to TRT’s Executive Board by presidential decree on Wednesday.
The appointments include the son of Labour and Social Security Minister Vedat Bilgin, pro-government columnist Hilal Kaplan, the Presidency's Directorate of Communications employee Oğuz Göksu, and two researchers from a pro-government think-tank, the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), Diken said.
“This army of pelicans, which is famous for trolling, has surrounded the TRT,” Özgür Özel said in a press conference held in Turkish National assembly, the news website reported.
The so-called ‘Pelican group’ refers to a clique of pro-government figures linked to President Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak and his brother Serhat Albayrak, CEO of Turkuvaz Media.
Critics accuse the group of acting as “Erdoğan’s troll army”, using their influence to slander the president’s opponents and their own political rivals.
The group derives its moniker from an anonymous website called the 'Pelican Brief', created in April 2016 to purportedly reveal tensions between Erdoğan and then prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Davutoğlu resigned shortly after.
The 'Pelican Brief' is the name of a political thriller written by John Grisham.
“The nation has no choice but to end this injustice in the next elections,” Özel said.