Media Transparency

Information about media company owners and their shares can be found most of the time in the Trade Registry Gazette archive on ticaretsicil.gov.tr. The archive can be searched by names of companies. The names of the companies that own the media outlets are relatively easy to find: In the case of newspapers, the name of the company and publisher have to be published every day in the newspaper. For TV and radio channels, as well as websites, the owner company is most of the time displayed on the website.

However many of the media outlets have companies as their only shareholder, so to disclose the name of an actual person, the individual owner, it might be necessary to go through a number of interrelated companies in the trade registry. The trade registry search engine does not allow for an individual's name to be searched, however this can be done (at least for companies registered in Istanbul) by using the Istanbul Chamber Of Commerce website on ito.org.tr/wps/portal/bilgi-bankasi. The name search function in the chamber's search engine only indicates if the person is a member of the Board of Directors and (unless a company is a 'Limited') does not show which companies they own shares in. To track this, the only way is to identify the name of the company and analyse all its records in the Trade Registry Gazette. Some of the old records cannot be opened online using the Trade Registry Gazette, so it is nearly impossible to retrieve information on shareholders if the shares have not been traded for a long time.

 

No reply from other than Hurriyet and onedio.com

 

When it came to finances, none of the media outlets responded to our questions on their income, except for daily Hürriyet and Onedio.com. Companies that directly denied these as 'trade secrets' were Turkuvaz (owns Sabah and Takvim newspapers, ATV and A Haber TV), ES Medya (owns daily Güneş), Estetik (owns daily Sözcü), Hayat Görsel Yayıncılık (owns Kanal 7 TV and Radyo 7).

We did not get any replies from İhlas, Demirören, Ciner, Albayrak, Doğuş Groups, despite two rounds of emails and phone calls to confirm that the right people had received our questions. İhlas Yayın Holding's income from media can be found in their annual report, since they are a publicly traded company.

We also didn't get any answers from Posta, Habertürk, Milliyet, Türkiye and Yeni Şafak newspapers; ATV, Fox, Show TV, Star TV, NTV, Kanal D and CNN TÜRK TV channels; Kral FM, Show Radyo, NTV Radyo, Radyo D, TGRT FM and CNN Türk radio stations; milliyet.com.tr, hurriyet.com.tr, haberturk.com haberler.com, memurlar.net, and gazetevatan.com websites; IHA, ANKA and DHA news agencies.

Daily Hürriyet answered all of our questions: their income (over 596 million Turkish Liras, approximately 200 million USD), profit (over 48 million Turkish Liras, approximately 162 million USD) and advertising revenue (over 383 million Turkish Liras, aproximately 129 million USD) in 2015. Onedio.com, web site, released their 2015 income (all from advertising, around 10 million Turkish Liras, approximately 3,4 million USD) however not their profit.

 

Freedom of Information Requests Unanswered

 

TRT FM, TRT1 (TV) and Anadolu Agency (AA) didn't respond to MOM's freedom of information requests asking for their income in 2015. We asked the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) to reveal the amount that the council has cut from the 10 TV and 10 radio channels with the highest income, which should have been public information. However RTÜK didn't answer this saying it was a financial secret.

In another answer we got from our freedom of information requests, Press Advertising Institution (BİK) revealed the most selling 10 newspapers and their sales figures, which was used to choose the top 10 newspapers. However the amount that BİK paid these newspapers (for publishing public advertising/announcements) over the past year wasn't answered, claiming that it was a trade secret.

We appealed to the Right to Information Assessment Council (BEDK) regarding BİK's response, as well as regarding our unanswered requests by TRT and AA.

  • Project by
    Bianet
  •  
    Reporters without borders
  • Funded by
    BMZ