Baku. Farid Mirzayev – APA. Director General of the ANS Broadcasting Media Company (ANS TV channel) Mirshahin Aghayev spoke to APA on the decision of the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Company on suspending broadcasting of the TV channel for one month.
“Fethullah Gulen didn’t give an exclusive interview to an ANS correspondent. It was a press conference where the ANS correspondent attended like other journalists. After watching the press conference, the ANS management, given the latest developments in Turkey, decided not to air it,” said Aghayev.
The director general dismissed rumors suggesting the announcement of Gulen’s press conference was aired on ANS TV channel.
“Foreign media outlets, which covered Gulen’s press conference, posted a number of photos on their websites. ANS correspondent Ganira Atashova is also reflected in some of these photos. Some Azerbaijani websites also disseminated these photos, announcing that ANS TV channel will air an interview with Fethullah Gulen.”
Aghayev said he’s fully assured that these websites didn’t get such information from any ANS employee.
He admitted that the ANS correspondent’s participation in Gulen’s press conference in such a delicate moment was a serious mistake, and apologized to the people of Azerbaijan and Turkey on behalf of the TV management.
“I think our biggest mistake is that we didn’t show solidarity with Turkish journalists at that moment when they were leaving the pressroom,” he added.
“ANS operated in continuous mode during the latest events in fraternal Turkey,” said Aghayev. “Our correspondent in Turkey repeatedly faced pressure and threats of military, and worked under the fire of the coup attempters.”
Even the Turkish embassy in Azerbaijan thanked the TV channel for objective coverage of the latest development in Turkey, he said, expressing regret over the mistake made.
He also apologized to millions of viewers of ANS for the step which lead to the suspension of the channel’s broadcasting for one month.
In this regard, necessary documents and evidence were submitted to law enforcement agencies, said the director general, expressing his hope for an early fair decision.
He pledged that the channel management will be more careful in its further activity.
Aghayev further asked President Ilham Aliyev, who always supports free media in the country, to please personnel and millions of viewers of ANS by restoring the channel’s operation on the eve of July 22 – National Press Day.
Azerbaijan’s National Council for Television and Radio passed a decision July 19 to suspend the broadcasting of ANS TV channel for one month.
The Council adopted a decision to suspend the broadcasting of ANS from 18:30 (UTC/GMT +4 hours) July 18 for a period of one month and to file a lawsuit to the court for withdrawing its license dated Oct. 25, 2013.
This decision was made given the appeal of the Prosecutor General’s Office, dated July 18, 2016, as well as the requirements of the articles 11, 23 and 32 of the law “On the Television and Radio Broadcasting”, in order to prevent the provocation aimed at undermining the strategic cooperation relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan and not to allow the open propaganda of terrorism.
In addition, the Council passed a decision to cancel the ANS Broadcasting Media Company’s license dated October 25, 2013.
The decision was made taking into account the requirements of the article 23.3.8 of the law “On the Television and Radio Broadcasting”.