Istanbul, April 9 () - Turkey’s media watchdog has decided not to fine the company responsible for a TV advertisement in which a Turkish flag was shown, which is forbidden in ads.
The Supreme Council of Radio and Television (RTÜK) did not order a punishment for the usage of the national flag in the ad for the Ağaoğlu group, owned by prominent business mogul Ali Ağaoğlu.
A member of the watchdog from the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) quota claimed that the company was not punished due to Ağaoğlu’s close ties with the government.
Ağaoğlu was embroiled in Turkey’s huge corruption case that hit headlines in December 2013 before behind quashed.
Members of RTÜK from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) voted against the fine, and the decision was criticized by CHP deputy Ali Öztunç.
“The five AKP members of RTÜK ruled not to fine the advertisement simply because it was an ad of Ali Ağaoğlu’s company and he featured in it” he said, adding that the AKP members “contradicted themselves” as they had previously ruled for TV stations to be punished for broadcasting advertisements using the Turkish flag.
Öztünç claimed that the Turkish flag could now even be used in lingerie ads and he was curious how the AKP members of RTÜK would justify this.
Ağaoğlu was briefly detained as part of the Dec. 17, 2013 corruption probe, which also involved four former ministers and their sons, as well as a total of around 100 others. The investigation into the case was eventually dropped in 2014.