Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice
After the Gezi uprising, the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) administration started an investigation of its employee accounts on Facebook and Twitter. An official inquiry was launched for those who were believed to have supported the demonstrations through their accounts. TRT, via a written notice, accused its employees of “committing deeds which may lead to the termination of work contracts” and demanded their pleas.
According to Mehmet Bilir, from Radikal, TRT examined the social media accounts of all employees and identified approximately 15 employees who had shared messages of support. TRT asked for their pleas for getting involved in acts which might be in breach of work contracts.
Manipulating Demonstrations Through Twitter
In the written notice sent to personnel, some examples of their Twitter messages were cited and recipients were accused of leading “illegal street demonstrations” via Twitter messages. The third article of Corporation Disciplinary bylaw related to “acts within the corporation” was modified so as to include support for demonstrations characterised as actions detrimental to disciplinary regulations. The official pleas, addressing the accusation of “hindering public services with ideological and political aims (…) instigating, supporting and helping such actions” were to be presented to TRT administration within 7 days.
Personal data recorded
The investigated personnel defended themselves by saying that posts on the social media are of a peaceful nature and are guaranteed by freedom of thought and expression and the accusation of “leading illegal street demonstrations” was completely unfounded. They also added that posts used against them had been written months earlier and that data from their private accounts had been illegally recorded. They reiterated that recording private data is prohibited by law and those who did it committed a crime.