Weary of media watchdog, Turkish TV presenter corrects “Kurdistan” to “Kurdish provinces”

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Turkish TV presenter Sirin Payzin corrected a young woman who used the word “Kurdistan” during a discussion program in Halk TV, saying the media watchdog RTUK makes her do so.

A presenter at a pro-opposition Turkish TV station corrected the word "Kurdistan" to "Kurdish provinces" on Sunday, claiming that a government authority was forcing her to do so.

The correction was made during a discussion program titled "People's Agora" broadcast on Halk TV, when a young woman identifying herself as Seda used the word "Kurdistan" as a geographical denominator while talking about regions where Kurds live in Turkey.

After the woman finished her comment, veteran moderator Sirin Payzin said she had to make a correction before giving the floor to another commentator.

Payzin said she respects all opinions, but had to say that "Halk TV does not share the statement 'Kurdistan,'" as required by the regulations of the Turkish Broadcasting Regulatory Commission RTUK.

"Unfortunately, I correct that as Kurdish provinces because of RTUK, but your opinion is yours, it stays. I have to make such notes in terms of RTUK," she said.

The Turkish opposition accuses RTUK of intimidating government critics and imposing arbitrary fines on TV when it broadcasts programs expressing opposition.

It has fined TV stations for what it considers violations of Turkish values, such as music videos that it considers to be"erotic", LGBTQ references or content it deems to have insulted the president.