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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.

Financial information is not open to public

Although the some financial reports of Groups such as Doğuş and İhlas are accessible, they do not publish their revenues and profits through updates. Companies, which directly claimed that their financial information regarding their media are not open to public, were Kalyon (Turkuvaz), Demirören, Estetik, Türk Medya (previously known as ES Medya), Hayat Görsel Yayıncılık, Albayrak Group, MN Yazılım.

After the sale of Doğan Group's media assets to Demirören Group in 2018, the Demirören Group issued an annual activity report for Hürriyet newspaper. When MoM emailed Hürriyet in order to get information about their digital platforms in 2018, they responded and oriented us to their website, hurriyetkurumsal.com.tr to access all financial reports prepared for the public. It was said that the figures they indicate as digital income is not only from hurriyet.com.tr, but also from all digital operations including posta.com.tr, fanatik.com.tr.

According to their report for 2018, hurriyet.com.tr is the most viewed news portal. However, they do not transparently share the data with any research company. For this reason, the online news portals of Demirören Group (hurriyet.com.tr, milliyet.com.tr, posta.com.tr and gazetevatan.com) are being excluded from the top 10 online media portals that MoM has researched. In this case, according to research made by Gemius (October 2018), Ciner Group’s haberturk.com ranks first in this list.

We did not get any replies from, Ciner Group about its financial information despite two rounds of emails.

We also didn't get any answers from, Fox, Show TV, Star TV, NTV, Kanal D and CNN TÜRK TV channels; Kral FM, Radyo 7, A Haber Radyo, Show Radyo, NTV Radyo, TGRT FM and CNN Türk radio stations; milliyet.com.tr, haberturk.com,bloomberght.com, ahaber.com.tr, takvim.com.tr and, memurlar.net websites. Radyo D claimed that they do not share their financial information with the public.

However, after the media assets of Doğan Group sold to Demirören in March 2018,

Demirören Group no longer shares neither the exact financial information of its media nor the audience share of its online news platforms by the last quarter of 2018. So hurriyet.com.tr, milliyet.com.tr, posta.com.tr and gazetevatan.com are not listed in the top 10 news media that MoM scrutinized.

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.

In 2018, we again asked CİMER (Communications Center of the Presidency, previously known as BİMER) to get information about the first three newspapers that receive the most advertisement in 2017 and 2018, we learned that we don’t have the possibility to access the information as it is a trade secret according to Article 34 of the Regulation on Principles and Procedures for the Right to Access to Information.

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