Ayşenur Arslan, a prominent journalist affiliated with the leftist Halk TV, has been detained in Eskişehir province as part of an investigation carried out by the Ankara 40th penal court of first instance.
According to the halktv news portal, Arslan was detained after she failed to attend a trial scheduled in an Ankara court last month.
Arslan is known for her “Medya Mahallasi” (Media neighborhood), a political discussion program aired by Halk TV, a Turkish nationwide TV channel established in 2005. The TV station is known for its relationship with the Republican People’s Party and Kemalist ideology. It is also known its critical stance towards the Turkish government.
In Deember 2018, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), responsible for the regulation and control of the Turkish broadcasting sector, imposed fines as well as partial broadcast bans on Halk TV after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan publicly slammed and threatened the TV station with repercussions.
The TV network was sanctioned for allegedly “provoking hatred and enmity among society” along with charges of “non compliance with the principle of impartiality” “exceeding the limits of criticism.” Halk TV was fined TL 80,000 ($15,000) and prohibited from broadcasting five episodes of “Halk Arenası” (People’s Arena), during a recent episode of which actors Müjdat Gezen and Metin Akpınar made fascism-related remarks allegedly in reference to Erdoğan.
It was also reported that a lawyer for President Erdoğan petitioned RTÜK seeking a fine for Halk TV as well as a suspension of up to five episodes of the show.