According to the report published by TUIK (2018b), 98,7 % percent of households have at least one smartphone. The rate of the people having at least one laptop in their home is 37,9% and the rate of households having a tablet is 28,4 % and the desktop computer is the lowest with 19, 2%.
Internet penetration of households in Turkey is 83,8 % in 2018 and eight of ten households have internet access in 2018. Nearly 94% of the population have access to cell phones or smartphones via either wifi (59%) or mobile data (41%) (Deloitte 2017). As cited in the digital news report of Reuters Institute (2018), the smartphone (72%) remains the most frequently used device to access news.
According to the researches, the internet is the main news source for people who oppose the government so live streaming through Periscope and Youtube have increasingly become popular for alternative media (Reuters Institute 2018).
Google dominates the search market locally, Samsung and Apple are the largest players in the mobile ecosystems market and Facebook is the largest player in social media, followed by Youtube and Twitter.
45.6% of individuals used e-government service and the rate of online shopping was 29.3% (TUIK 2018).
Currently (January 2019), Turk Telekom is the largest Internet Service Provider that owns 80% of Internet infrastructure in Turkey. The other companies such as Millenicom (Germany), Superonline (belongs to Turkcell), Vodafone Net (UK), TURKnet, D Smart operating as Internet Service Provider using the infrastructure of Turk Telekom.
In 2013, the ULAK project was launched by the AKP, which gave the SSB (Presidency of Defence Industries) the responsibility for the administration and establishment of the infrastructure for 4G mobile technologies. According to the ULAK Project by the military defense and communications company ASELSAN and SSM, they will establish a technological infrastructure where the use of local technologies will become a condition for all companies to operate in the Turkish 4G mobile market. Later the 4G integrations turned into the system of 4.5G which does not exist globally but it was effective for Erdoğan’s order to establish communication technologies with their “national” capabilities. In May 2018, the “national baz station”, ULAK was launched in Kars.
Regarding the satellite market, TURKSAT, as a company founded in 1998, became the main satellite operator for voice, data, Internet (KabloNet and UyduNet), television and radio broadcasting. It also provides telecommunication services in wide geography that extends to Asia and Africa through its satellites. TURKSAT also operates both e-government portal of Turkey and cable television platform and has global connections with the other companies such as Inmarsat of America. In the category Telecommunications, TURKSAT was the first in the export sector in 2018.
The Aftermath of the coup attempt
In the aftermath of the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the AKP government transferred the TIB’s TIB (Presidency of Telecommunications and Communication) duties and responsibilities to the BTK (Information and Communication Technologies Authority) - that has “aggressive blocking mentality”, as put by Akdeniz. During the post-coup attempt period, the AKP government not only implemented its legal restrictions but also deployed internet shutdowns and VPN restrictions.
BTK is linked to the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, and its staff is government appointees. It acts as the central authority for all issues concerning the telecommunications, which has the power to cut, slow, filter and ban the Internet connections of either the entire country or particular territories. BTK operates filtering applications to provide “safe Internet” to the families.
According to Twitter's 2018 (January-June) report of transparency, Turkey continued to submit the most requests, accounting for approximately 73% of the overall worldwide total.
Twitter has withheld 527 accounts of which 425 accounts from Turkey. Out of 2656 tweets that withheld, 1464 withheld tweet through the request of Turkey.
All editions of the Wikipedia was also blocked in Turkey on April 29, 2017 under the charges of “not removing the content” which endangers national security. As of November 2018, Wikipedia has still remained inaccessible.
According to the last report published by Freedom House (October 2018 Internet Freedom), over the 65 countries covered by the report, Turkey is amongst “not free” countries, with 66 points (as the scale scores from the most free (0) and the least free (100)) in terms of “obstacles to access”, “limits on content”, “violations of user rights” (October 2018).
The RTUK, formed in 1994, was based on the "act of the establishment of Radio and TV Initiatives and Broadcast." It is the authority that monitors, regulates and sanctions television and radio broadcasting in Turkey. In 2018, the new regulations were published.
With the new regulations which gave RTÜK (Radio and Telecommunication Authority) the authority to regulate all kinds of internet broadcasting, i.e, all broadcasters, which want to provide radio, television, and other types of broadcasting services on the internet, will have to obtain a license from RTUK. Other broadcasters on other platforms will also require a transmission authorization from RTUK for their internet broadcasts. With the new regulations, RTÜK is able to evaluate the content of broadcasting platforms such as Netflix and BluTV.
According to the press release by the RTUK, satellite and cable license fees to be paid by the media service provider organizations for 2018 and broadcast transmission authorization fees to be paid by platform and infrastructure operating companies and channel / frequency annual utilization fee coefficient (K) have been increased by 14.47%, which is the revaluation rate. For the Radio broadcasting, the satellite license fee is approximately USD 5669 for TV broadcasting services it is almost USD 566.691 in 2018.
Freedom on the Net: The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism (October 2018)
TÜİK, Hanehalkı Bilişim Teknolojileri Kullanım Araştırması, (2018a)
TÜİK, Hanelerde Bilişim Teknolojileri Bulunma Oranları, 2004-2018, (2018b)
TÜİK, İstatistiki Bölge Birimleri Sınıflaması 1.Düzey'e göre evden genişbant bağlantı ile İnternet erişimi olan hanelerin oranı, 2011-2018 (2018c)
Turkey blocks Wikipedia under law designed to protect national security
Internet ve RTUK, February 19, 2018
ULAK Dördüncü Nesil (4g/Lte) Haberleşme Teknolojisinin Geliştirilmesi (2017)
Erdoğan 5G istedi, BTK ‘4.5G olsun’ dedi: 4G ihalesi yine ertelendi
Prof. Akdeniz: İnternet sansüründe bir RTÜK eksikti, O da oldu
Turksat ve Inmarsat Stratejik İşbirliği Anlaşması
BIA Medya Gözlem Raporları
Yerli ve milli ilk baz istasyonu ULAK, Kars'ta hizmete alındı (May 2018)
We are social (2018) DIGITAL IN 2018: WORLD’S INTERNET USERS PASS THE 4 BILLION MARK
Twitter Transparency (2018)