Media of Turkey
The media of Turkey includes a wide variety of domestic and foreign periodicals expressing disparate views, and domestic newspapers are extremely competitive. However, media ownership is concentrated in the hands of a few large private media groups which are typically part of wider conglomerates controlled by wealthy individuals, which limits the views that are presented. In addition, the companies are willing to use their influence to support their owners' wider business interests, including by trying to maintain friendly relations with the government. The media exert a strong influence on public opinion. Censorship in Turkey is also an issue, and in the 2000s Turkey has seen many journalists arrested and writers prosecuted. On Reporters without Borders' Press Freedom Index it has fallen from being ranked around 100 in 2005 to around 150 in 2013.
By circulation, the most popular daily newspapers are Zaman, Posta, Hürriyet, Sabah, Habertürk and Sözcü. The broadcast media have a very high penetration as satellite dishes and cable systems are widely available. The "Radio and Television Supreme Council" (RTÜK) is the government body overseeing the broadcast media.
The largest operator is the Doğan Media Group, which in 2003 received 40 percent of the advertising revenue from newspapers and broadcast media in Turkey. In 2003 a total of 257 television stations and 1,100 radio stations were licensed to operate, and others operated without licenses. Of those licensed, 16 television and 36 radio stations reached national audiences. In 2003 some 22.9 million televisions and 11.3 million radios were in service. Aside from Turkish, the state television network offers some programs in Arabic, Circassian, Kurdish, and Zaza.
Major media groups
In 2004 three major media groups dominated advertising revenues: Doğan Media Group and Sabah took 80% of newspaper advertising, and Doğan, Sabah and Çukurova took 70% of television advertising. "In the Turkish context, highly concentrated corporate media power (such as Dogan’s) is even more significant when three additional factors are considered: (1) the willingness of corporate owners to ‘instrumentalize’ reporting in order to fit the wider political-economic interests of the parent company; (2) the weakness of journalists and other employees in the face of the power of corporate owners; and (3) the fact that corporate power is combined with restrictive state regulation on issues of freedom of speech."
- Doğan Media Group (Aydın Doğan / Arzuhan Yalçındağ) had two-thirds of all newspaper advertising revenue in 2004, and following the 2005 purchase of Star TV had 25-30% of the TV audience. (It sold Star TV to Doğuş Media Group in 2011).
- Doğuş Media Group (Ayhan Şahenk / Ferit Şahenk)
- Turkuvaz Media Group of Çalık Holding (Ahmet Çalık)
- Çukurova Media Group of Çukurova Holding (Mehmet Emin Karamehmet)
- Ciner Media Group (Turgay Ciner)
At the beginning of 1990s, workers of two major newspapers, Hürriyet and Milliyet, resigned from the union because of pressure from the employer (Aydin Dogan). Hostility from employers meant that some workplaces where there had been union organisation (including, for example, Tercüman, Günes, and the privately owned UBA news agency) were closed down. Union organisation was not possible in newspapers (Star, Radikal, and others) nor in radio and television companies which began their publication and broadcasting lives later on. The Sabah group and other media groups have never permitted union organisation. (IFJ/EFJ, 2002: 4)
Turkey's 2001 financial crisis further strengthened media owners' hands, as 3-5000 journalists were fired, and the most troublesome ones targeted first.
Since 2011, the AKP has increased restrictions on freedom of speech, freedom of the press and internet use, and television content, as well as the right to free assembly. It has also developed links with media groups, and used administrative and legal measures (including, in one case, a $2.5 billion tax fine) against critical media groups and critical journalists: "over the last decade the AKP has built an informal, powerful, coalition of party-affiliated businessmen and media outlets whose livelihoods depend on the political order that Erdogan is constructing. Those who resist do so at their own risk."
These behaviours became particularly prominent in 2013 in the context of the Turkish media coverage of the 2013 protests in Turkey. The BBC noted that while some outlets are aligned with the AKP or are personally close to Erdogan, "most mainstream media outlets - such as TV news channels HaberTurk and NTV, and the major centrist daily Milliyet - are loth to irritate the government because their owners' business interests at times rely on government support. All of these have tended to steer clear of covering the demonstrations." Few channels provided live coverage – one that did was Halk TV.
- Turkey country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (January 2006). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "Tiraj". Medyatava. Retrieved 2008-08-29.
- Christian Christensen (2007), "Concentration of ownership, the fall of unions and government legislation in Turkey", Global Media and Communication, August 2007 3: 179-199, doi:10.1177/1742766507078416
- "Charges Against Journalists Dim the Democratic Glow in Turkey". The New York Times. 4 January 2012.
- "In Erdogan's Turkey, Censorship Finds Fertile Ground". Al-Monitor. 13 January 2013.
- "Erdogan Visit to Berlin Betrays Tensions". Der Spiegel. 2013.
- Foreign Policy, 2 June 2013, How Democratic Is Turkey?
- BBC, 4 June 2013, Turks deprived of TV turn to Twitter for protest news
- Deutsche Welle, 1 June 2013, Solidarity with Istanbul protesters grows in Turkey and abroad
- Mine Gencel Bek (2004), "Research Note: Tabloidization of News Media: An Analysis of Television News in Turkey", European Journal of Communication August 2004 19: 371-386, doi:10.1177/0267323104045264
- Christensen, M. (2010), "Notes on the public sphere on a national and post-national axis: Journalism and freedom of expression in Turkey", Global Media and Communication, 6 (2), pp. 177-197.
- Hawks, B.B. (2011), "Is the press really free?: The recent conflict between the government and media in Turkey", International Journal of the Humanities, 8 (11), pp. 75-90.
- List of newspapers in Turkey
- List of television stations in Turkey
- List of radio stations in Turkey
- Category:Turkish magazines
- Category:Turkish journalists
- Censorship in Turkey
- Marc Pierini with Markus Mayr, January 2013, Press Freedom in Turkey, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
- Dilek Kurban, Ceren Sözeri, June 2012, Caught in the Wheels of Power: The Political, Legal and Economic Constraints on Independent Media and Freedom of the Press in Turkey, Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation. ISBN 978-605-5332-18-1
- Piotr Zalewski, Foreign Affairs, June 14, 2013, The Turkish Media’s Darkest Hour: How Erdogan Got the Protest Coverage He Wanted
- Akser, Murat; Baybars-Hawks, Banu (2012), "Media and Democracy in Turkey: Toward a Model of Neoliberal Media Autocracy", Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, Volume 5, Number 3, 2012 , pp. 302-321(20)