Gülenist Samanyolu TV has recently used Caillou, a popular children's cartoon show which is based on the books by French-Canadian author Christine L'Heureux, as a propaganda tool to protest the removal of channels affiliated with the Gülen Movement on Tivibu, Turkcell TV+ and Digiturk TV platforms, based on the order of the Ankara Public Prosecutor's office.
"Another reaction to the removal of our channels from Digiturk came from Yumurcak TV's popular character Caillou" said the anchorman, and proceeded to display the popular cartoon character, who was allegedly saying he could not comprehend why Gülenist TV channels were being removed from major TV platforms.
"I'm Caillou, I'm very sad today because my mom told me about something really bad. She told me about terror" Caillou said on Samanyolu Haber channel, and added that free press cannot be suppressed, surprising statements considering the fact that Caillou is supposed to be a 4-year-old character, and the show caters to children aged 0-6
After Tivibu and Turkcell TV+, on October 8 Digiturk also removed channels linked with the Gülen Movement, a transnational organization led by U.S.-based fugitive Fethullah Gülen, by order of the Ankara Public Prosecutor's office.
In a written statement released early Thursday, Digiturk said that the company received a formal order in accordance with an investigation from the Ankara Public Prosecutor's office compelling the TV service provider to remove seven channels linked with the Gülen Movement: Kanaltürk, Samanyolu TV, Mehtap TV, S Haber, Bugün TV, Yumurcak TV, and Irmak TV.
Removing the channels is interpreted by some as a huge blow to the movement, as it reaches millions of people through its TV channels. In addition, Digiturk is arguably the most widely known and used TV service provider in Turkey.
As the Ankara Public Prosecutor's office sends TV service providers formal requests one by one, other providers such as Türksat and D-Smart are expected to receive the same request in due time.
Previously, Tivibu, a service provided by Türk Telekom that enables people to watch high definition TV over the Internet, removed the TV channels affiliated with the Gülen Movement from its channel list. Following Tivibu's decision, Turkcell TV+, a service provided by one of Turkey's leading cellphone operators, Turkcell, and a widely known Internet provider, Superonline, also removed channels linked with the Gülen Movement.
The Gülen Movement is accused of wiretapping thousands of peoples' phones and infiltrating state institutions to gain ultimate power in the country, as well as espionage and terrorist activities. In light of recent indictments, a life sentence is now being sought for Gülen, along with dozens of other suspect's accused of plotting a coup to overthrow the government.
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