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Justice Department ordered Turkish TV station to register as foreign agent

The decision came amid an intensifying push by the Donald Trump administration and Congress to get foreign media outlets to register.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan pose for a family photo during the annual NATO heads of government summit at the Grove Hotel in Watford, Britain December 4, 2019.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Pool - RC2COD9N7WI1
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The US Justice Department ordered the US branch office of Turkish public broadcaster TRT to register as a foreign agent last year, Al-Monitor has learned, a step TRT only took earlier this month.

In an Aug. 1, 2019 letter obtained by Al-Monitor, the Justice Department concluded that TRT — the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation — is engaged in “political activities” and acts as a “publicity agent” and as an “information-service employee” on behalf of the Turkish government. US officials rejected TRT's argument that it is financially and editorially independent, concluding instead that Ankara “exercises direction and control of TRT by regulation and oversight, and by controlling its leadership, budget, and content.”

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