All media outlets monitored by MOM belong to a company. Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) provides channel and frequencies for radio and television. The 28th Article of the Constitution guarantees that the publication of periodicals and non-periodicals do not need a permit or a warrant. To publish a newspaper, it is adequate to apply to the chief prosecutor's office with the necessary legal documents, whereas a license is not needed to publish an online news portal.
Is there horizontal concentration?
Do same capital owners own multiple media outlets that are independent from each other? Is there horizontal concentration in the Turkish media?
Print (58%) and online audience shares (according to the top ten list) show a high horizontal concentration in Turkey; whereas the audience shares of radio (42%) and TV (%41) are a little below the limit (50%) of horizontal concentration and show a medium audience concentration in the calculation. These are the rates of audience shares of the media organisations (including the ones not in the top ten list) of top 4 media owners of each medium.
Many major dailies also have high audience share in the online sector.
The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkSat) has not updated the media consumption data in 2020 and the samples of some research are limited. We cannot calculate cross-media audience shares for 2020 updates, as we do not have a study covering all media consumption for 2020.
Many politically affiliated media owners
The owners of the media in the top ten list have close relations with the government.
Among the audience shares of 40 media outlets that are calculated for MOM 2020 updates, 42% of the audience watch TV that is owned by those politically or economically affiliated with the government. This rate is 56% of the print media readers and 39% of radio listeners. No numeric data is available for online media audience share but more than half of the top 10 online media organisations belong to groups that have close ties with the government.
State-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) is responsible for public broadcasting and is a public entity. However, although they have to act as public broadcasters, TRT television channels and radio stations have always been criticized for being the voice of the government at different levels.
With the Presidential decree issued on July 14, 2021, the entire board of directors of TRT was changed and the number of board members was increased from seven to nine. With the decree, the functions of the TRT Chairperson of the Board of Directors and the TRT General Director, which were stated to be carried out by the same person with the phrase “General Manager is the Chairperson of the Board of Directors” in the previous regulation, were separated. Mehmet Zahid Sobacı was appointed to replace İbrahim Eren, the General Manager of TRT, whose 4-year term expired. Sobacı previously worked at the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), known for their targeting of journalists and close ties to the ruling AKP. The new TRT Chairperson of the Board of Directors is Prof. Ahmet Albayrak.
With the law no. 3093 enacted in 1984, large part of TRT's revenues come from electricity bills and banderole revenues.
According to the figures announced, TRT earned 1 billion 215 million 447 thousand TRY from the share of energy revenues cut from electricity bills and 2 billion 619 million 604 thousand TRY from the banderoles in 2020.
Moreover, the state channel TRT also collects banderol fees of 0.01 percent to 16 percent from several products ranging from televisions, radios and mobile phones to smart watches, vehicles and tablets.
With the decree no. 2018/2 in July 2018, TRT has been tied to the Directorate of Communications, which means it is directly under the control of the Presidency, and the RTÜK has been tied to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
State-run Anadolu Agency
Anadolu Agency (AA) is a joint stock company which was founded by the state of Turkey. Its shares are owned by the Undersecretariat of Treasury. AA is the largest news agency in Turkey, with its structuring both inside and outside the country. The broadcasting of Anadolu Agency, like that of TRT, has been and is being criticized for being pro-government. The appointments to the directorate general of the agency have generally sparked debates.
Anadolu Agency is a monopoly as no other national news-agency exists.