DPS Fervently Rejects Proposal to Reschedule Turkish-Language News

Domestic | December 8, 2014, Monday // 14:30|  views

Photo by BGNES

Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) leader Lyutvi Mestan has lashed out at an agreement reached between two of the government-related entities last week to move news bulletins in Turkish from the public broadcaster's national program.

Right-wing Reformist Bloc (RB) and nationalist Patriotic Front (PF) decided on Friday that the news should not be aired by BNT1, but by the regional program BNT2.

In a statement, the DPS said that after Friday's proposal "democracy" had turned into "a scapegoat of the power that survived."

Talks between the RB, a junior coalition partner, and PF, which supports the minority government, followed weeks of threats issued by nationalists that they might stop backing the cabinet if some of their key demands were not heard.

Mestan believes rescheduling the news would constitute an infringement on "minorities' rights to receive news in their mother tongue through the air of BNT1."

"For the first time in the 25-year history of Bulgaria's transition to democracy, decisions for intervention in the programming of an independent media outlet," he claimed.

Like the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), the Bulgarian National Television is a public broadcaster under the Radio and Television Act and relies on state funding, but is independent in terms of decision-making.

Politicians are unable to introduce the proposed amendment without the approval of both the media regulator Council for Electronic Media (CEM) and BNT itself.

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Tags: DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, Reformist Bloc, Patriotic Front, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Turkish-language news, BNT, CEM


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