SEEMO express concern about Azerbaijani News Service (ANS), a private Azerbaijani television station, that was taken off the air on 18 July. The move came after the station was accused of damaging relations with Turkey, and was announced to allegedly prevent overt terrorist propaganda after the station said it would broadcast an interview with U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Turkey’s government blames Gulen for orchestrating the failed military coup on 15 July. Gulen has condemned the coup and denied involvement
Azerbaijan’s National Television and Radio Council (NTRC) announced that it was temporarily suspending operations of the private ANS TV, which was founded in 1991. Additionally, NTRC announced that it would file a lawsuit to revoke ANS’s license.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.