In Turkey, there are 34 national, 81 regional, 784 local radio stations totaling 899 (RATEM 2019). The number of radio and television stations inspected by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) is 1,780.
The Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), which is responsible for “public broadcasting”. held the radio monopoly from 1964 to 1992. The first radio broadcast was made in 1927.
TRT owns five national, five regional, three international and three local radio stations, a total of 16. TRT is mostly criticized for broadcasting pro-government news.
According to the MOM 2020 data, the radios in the top ten in terms of audience participation rate are as follows: Kral FM, TRT FM, Radyo 7, A Haber Radyo, Radyo D, Show Radyo, Radyo 1, TRT Radyo Haber, NTV Radyo, Habertürk Radyo (Radio Monitoring Services Organization (RİAK) December 2020).
The group that dominates the sector in radio broadcasting is Doğuş Group. State channel TRT has 3 channels in the top ten list.
Audience and advertising shares
58.7 percent of Turkey's population over the age of 12 listens to the radio at least once a day, and the rate of women listening to the radio (54.9% per day) is lower than men (62% per day). Among the socio-economic groups, the AB group [listeners consisting of “a consumer group with a more favorable economic and social status to consume all kinds of products” in the country] has a slightly higher radio listening habit, with 59.2 percent, compared to the general population. Considering the radio listeners in Turkey by age group, the rate of listening is the highest among the population over the age of 45 (65.6%) (Source: RIAK.com.tr) (RİAK June 2021 data on daily average radio listening rates).
13 billion 976 million TRY of media and advertising investments, which totaled 17 billion 469 million TRY in 2020, were media investments. While the sum of press, TV and radio constituted 41 percent of these investments, investments in digital were 54 percent. This year, media investments for radio decreased by 10 percent when compared to the previous year and fell to 295 million TRY. Radio investments were in the last place with 2 percent [The estimated data of the Advertisers' Association published in April 2021].
According to the March 2020 report of the Advertisers' Association, the media and advertising investments totaled 11 million TRY in 2019. This rate, with a growth rate of 9.7 percent, constituted 3.6 percent of these investments.
Shutdown of radio stations
The decrees [668 (27.07.2016), 675 (29.10.2016), 677 (22.11.2016), 675 (29.10.2016) ve 670 (17.08.2016), 689 ( 29.04.2017),693 (25.08.2017) and 695 (24.12.2017) and 701(08.07.2018)] declared during the state of emergency brought the shutdowns of 6 news agencies, 41 radios, 38 TVs, 70 newspapers, 20 magazines, and 29 printing houses and distribution channels (in total 204 news agencies). This includes the decisions to shut down by RTÜK (19 TV channels and 17 radio stations).
The decisions to shut down 17 newspapers, 4 radios, 4 TV and a total of 25 media organizations under decrees were canceled. During the State of Emergency period, in total, 179 media agencies (53 newspaper, 34 TV, 37 radio station, 20 magazines, and 6 news agencies) and 29 publishing house were shut down.
On the decrees, these shutdowns were based on "having relations, coherence and communication with the Gülenist Terrorist Organization (FETO/PYD), which has been established as a threat to national security; as well as terror organizations and structures and groups which have been declared as acting against the security of the state, by the National Security Council."
During the state of emergency period, the number of closed radio stations was 41 (including the decisions by RTUK). 4 of these decisions were canceled.
The shutdown decisions for 37 radio stations are still active.
Radios listed as shut down
Aksaray Mavi Radyo, Esra Radyo, Aktüel Radyo, Haber Radyo Ege, Berfin FM, Herkül FM, Burç FM, Jest FM, Cihan Radyo, Kanaltürk Radyo, Dünya Radyo, Radyo Aile Rehberi, Radyo Nur, Radyo Bamteli, Radyo Şimşek, Radyo Cihan (İstanbul), Samanyolu Haber Radyosu, Radyo Fıkıh, Radyo Küre, Radyo Mehtap, Patnos FM, Rengin Radyo, Radyo Karacadağ, Özgür Radyo, Özgür Güneş Radyosu, Ses Radyo, Radyo Dünya (Adana), Doğu Radyo, Yön Radyo, Gün Radyo, Batman FM (As of March 2018)
The shutdown decisions for Yağmur FM, Umut FM, Radyo 59, and Yön FM have been lifted through decrees.
The Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) was established in 1994 as per the "Act of the Establishment of Radio and TV Initiatives and Broadcast." Regulating broadcasters, providing licenses and auditing broadcasters are among the authority's responsibilities.
RTÜK consists of nine members elected by the Parliament from among the candidates nominated by the parties. With the election held on January 25, 2021, Ebubekir Şahin, whose two-year term expired, was re-elected as the President of RTÜK. Arif Fırtına is the Deputy Chairperson of the RTÜK.
In June 2021, two people from the AKP quota and one from the MHP quota were elected for the three vacant memberships. Thus, as of August 2021, there are a total of 8 members in RTÜK, including 4 members from the AKP, 2 from the CHP, 1 from the MHP and 1 from the HDP.
As part of the investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office regarding the Kobane protests on October 6-8, 2014, RTÜK’s HDP member Ali Ürküt was detained and arrested. Ürküt is in prison as of October 2021.
Since September 2019, online broadcasters have been under the inspection of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK). The regulation, which requires platforms broadcasting on the Internet to obtain a broadcasting license from RTÜK, entered into force on September 1, 2019 after being published in the Official Gazette. With this regulation, broadcasters can no longer provide broadcasting services without obtaining a license from RTÜK. Accordingly, the license fee is 10,000 TRY (~1,290 USD dollars) for Internet radios and 100,000 TRY for television and on-demand video broadcast. Digital platforms such as Netflix, BluTV and Puhutv came under the control of RTÜK. In November 2020, it was announced that Netflix and Amazon Prime Video were licensed by RTÜK. Finally, in December 2020, Netflix received a license from RTÜK.
It appears that the RTÜK acts as a government tool to threaten news outlets critical of the government and silence the critical, independent media in Turkey through its punishments. However, it is stated that the files of some channels (such as A Haber, Kanal 7, TV Net and TGRT Haber) that are known to be close to the government are not discussed at RTÜK.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has stated that Turkey's media authority imposes punitive sanctions on critical media outlets (December 2020).
In its statement, RTÜK also stated that media organizations that receive funding from foreign institutions may have a "national security problem".
According to the BİA Media Monitoring Report 2020, RTÜK issued 4 monetary penalties and 5 program suspensions on radios. The total amount of fines that RTÜK issued on visual and auditory media reached 19,063,835 Turkish Liras.
In 2019, it did not take any action on radio channels.
MoM updates were based on listener rates for December 2020. Although they are in the top ten list of the most-listened radio channels, thematic channels are excluded. See: https://turkey.mom-rsf.org/en/about/faq/
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