Turkish TV presenter says she was fired for political reasons

ANKARA (AFP) - A Turkish TV presenter who was fired from a television show this week after a ruling party official criticised her low-cut dress said the decision was political, media reported on Thursday.

"It's ridiculous, pathetic. This is my way of getting dressed and I will continue to do so," Ms Gozde Kansu told the Hurriyet newspaper in an interview.

"I am bored of debates sparked over women's bodies. The easiest thing to do was to sacrifice me, a woman, and they did," she said.

"Nobody wanted to go against the political will which attacked my low-cut dress." A spokesman for the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) criticised Kansu's costume without identifying her, a day after her show was broadcast.

"A presenter at a TV channel wore such a dress during a show that it cannot be accepted," Mr Huseyin Celik said in a televised interview on Sunday.

"We don't interfere with anybody but it's very extreme," he added.

After Mr Celik's remarks, Ms Kansu was dismissed from the private ATV television which said it did not find her way of presentation in line with the programme's aims.

Ms Kansu hit back at the producers' claims and said her dismissal was not related to her performance.

"If they didn't like my presentation, they would tell me because they have invested enormous amounts of money in this business. They didn't tell me anything," she said. "Whenever Celik spoke, things have changed."

Turkey's AKP government is under fire from secular quarters for allegedly Islamising the predominantly Muslim but traditionally secular nation.

A wave of anti-government protests that rocked Turkey in June threw up the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade-long rule.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets, calling Mr Erdogan a "dictator" and accusing him of Islamising the country. The protests were brutally put down by the police.