MEDIA AND POLITICS

Turkish Anchorwoman Admits Gov’t Sway Over Picking Guests on TV

Sirin Payzin, a former anchorwoman at CNN Turk, confesses that the selection of guest contributors was recently shaped by the government. But her confession is too late, too little.

Abdullah Ayasun
5 min readDec 16, 2020

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Sirin Payzin confessed that guest lists for her programs were imposed by the government.

A famous journalist offered a scathing account of the mounting political pressure on Turkish media from a personal angle. “The blacklisted figures was relayed by our Ankara bureau chief,” Sirin Payzin, a former anchorwoman and moderator in CNN Turk, recently revealed in an acknowledgment of the government’s extended sway over the editorial policies of the channel over the past decade. Payzin noted that politicians from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) were banished from programs at the behest of the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) Party. She confessed that the selection of guest contributors had increasingly been imposed by the government since 2015.

Her recent revelations might be designed to arouse public sympathy for her hardships endured during her long spell at CNN’s Turkish offshoot. Instead, it did the opposite as many poured their unconcealed disdain over her willing condoning to such editorial intervention by the political…

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Abdullah Ayasun

Boston-based journalist and writer. Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. 2023 WHCA Scholar. On art, culture, politics and everything in between. X: @abyasun