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The broadcast of Turkey’s FOX TV on Azerbaijan’s cable TV providers was stopped in the evening hours on 22 February. The channel has become inaccessible in all formats, including analogue, digital and IPTV broadcasting.
One of the providers, Aile TV, ascribed this move to an instruction by the National Television and Radio Council (NTRC), which has remained silent on the issue.
A day ago, on 21 February, host of FOX TV’s Ana Haber (Main News) program Fatih Portakal presented the news on the appointment of President Ilham Aliyev’s wife Mehriban Aliyeva to the post of first vice-president in a critical tone. Referring to the constitutional changes in the system of presidency adopted through the 2016 referendum in Azerbaijan, the newscaster called the new appointment a “system [where power] passes within a family”.
“If your democracy is this much, you’ll have such a system. There can be no talk of protesting masses. How much this move is democratic and respectful of human rights and freedoms is debatable,” the presenter commented with an ironic smile.
FOX TV’s this footage evoked heated debates amongst social networkers in Azerbaijan and criticisms of the appointment. The predictions about the suspension of the channel’s broadcast proved right because another Turkish channel Kanal D’s transmission had also been stopped in Azerbaijan two years before following a critical video.
FOX TV and Kanal D are very popular among Azerbaijani viewers.