Radio and Television Supreme Council
RTÜK, short for (Turkish: Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu, English: Radio and Television Supreme Council), is the Turkish state agency for monitoring, regulating, and sanctioning radio and television broadcasts. RTÜK was founded in 1994 and is composed of nine members elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. RTÜK is located in Ankara and maintains local offices in Istanbul, Izmir and Diyarbakir.
Telecommunications and information technology sectors fall under another state agency, the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).
RTÜK has recently initiated the establishment of two international forums in the field of audio visual media services such as the Black Sea Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum (BRAF) among 12 members of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) in 2009, and the Islamic Countries Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum (IBRAF), an affiliate of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), with its 57 member states, in 2011.
Notable sanctions and penalties imposed by RTÜK
- RTÜK is known for sanctioning the broadcasts of a large number of domestic productions, such as Gülşen's video clip for the song Sarışınım, on grounds of "violating the national and moral values of the community and Turkish family structure" (RTÜK Law Art. 4/e), "obscenity" (ibid. 4/t), and "impairing the physical, mental, and moral development of young people and children" (ibid. 4/z).
- Among foreign productions sanctioned by RTÜK for similar rationales are Wild Things 3, Nip/Tuck, and Gossip Girl. In September 2009, RTÜK banned the broadcasting of the video clip for the song Love Sex Magic, stating that the video "contains sexual outfits, dancing and scenes that are contrary to the development of children and youth and morality in general."
- In another verdict in March 2011, RTÜK punished the broadcast of the feature film Sex and the City 2, due to the film's portraying a same-sex wedding ceremony, considered "twisted and immoral" by the RTÜK board.
- RTÜK also imposes closure orders on TV and radio stations on the grounds that they have made separatist broadcasts. A verdict of high international profile was the banning of Turkish language programmes of BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle on the grounds that they "threatened national security."
- The "stream-lining" policies of RTÜK with that of the Turkish Government is exemplified once more when they successively imposed huge monetary penalties to the producers of the TV series Behzat Ç. Bir Ankara Polisiyesi as well as the TV channel broadcasting it. The series explicitly demonstrate the corrupt policies and practices of the Turkish courts, governmental authorities, the bureaucrats, etc. and therefore is widely criticized by the ruling A.K.P. (Justice and Development Party)-led Turkish government. The ministers of the government as well as many A.K.P. MPs had explicitly criticized the TV series and asked the producers to stop production and the TV channel to stop broadcasting; however they had to back down amid extremely widespread protests of the spectators and fans of the series. As a result, the government is now (as of 2012) trying to press the producers and the TV channed by imposing huge monetary penalties on feeble claims such as "the violation the national and moral values of the community and Turkish family structure" (RTÜK Law Art. 4/e), "obscenity" (ibid. 4/t), and "the impairment of the physical, mental, and moral development of young people and children" (ibid. 4/z). RTÜK alleges that the major characters of the series "drink too much", "swear too much", "conduct behavior against the moral values of the Turkish family life"-the latter just because the bachelor police chief is seeing a single (divorced) female prosecutor of state and that "they have a relationship out of wedlock". The first season of the series were heavily penalized by the RTÜK and the second season brought even more penalties of the RTÜK to the producers of the series and the broadcasting TV channel. As a result, when the second-season of the series finished in June 2012, all spectators and fans were pessimist on whether they will be watching a third-season. The third season started to air on Sep. 21, 2012 but with a heavy censor on all conversations, extreme censor on scenes where the characters drink beer, etc. and consequently, the website of the TV channel broadcasting the series over the internet received more than 130,000 hits in the other day of the broadcast in just a couple of hours when word spread among fans that a "censor-free" version is available.
- tr:Gün Radyo ve TV in 2002 ordered off air for a year for broadcasting Kurdish-language songs
- Günlük case
- Nur Radyo Ve Televizyon Yayinciligi A.S. v. Turkey (no. 2) (ECHR 2010 - judgement of breach of Article 2010)
RTÜK's Family Projects
Besides sanctioning broadcasts, RTÜK also leads some projects purportedly "to protect children and to help parents in media environment". These projects are:
- Media Literacy (Medya Okur-Yazarlığı)
- Smart Signs (Akıllı İşaretler) projects aims at a rating system similar to television rating systems in other countries.
- Internet Safety (İnternet Güvenliği)
- Good Night Kids (İyi Uykular Çocuklar) is a cartoon show that aims at children's gaining habits of going to bed early.
Prior to 1994, television and radio broadcasts were only permitted by the state. The Law No. 3984 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and their Broadcasts, dated 13 April 1994 liberalised this, allowing an explosion of private media. The 1994 law was replaced by Law No. 6112 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises, which came into force on 15 February 2011.
- RTÜK website
- ABOUT THE RADIO AND TELEVISION SUPREME COUNCIL (RTÜK)
- BLACK SEA BROADCASTING REGULATORY AUTHORITIES FORUM
- Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Broadcasting Regulatory Authorities Forum
- Gülşen'in Yüzü Gülüyor...RTÜK Yasakladı, MTV Klibini Listeye Aldı(Turkish)
- RTÜK'ten Kızların Öpüşmesine Ceza(Turkish)
- RTÜK Senaryo da Yazıyormuş!(Turkish)
- Turkey bans "sexy" American pop video
- Sex and the RTÜK(Turkish)
- RTÜK de BBC'yi ulusal güvenliğe aykırı buldu(Turkish)
- Yaşam ve Ekran, Yaşar Sökmensüer, Hürriyet(Turkish)
- VATAN GAZETESİ - Behzat Ç.'nin İçtiği İçki RTÜK'ü Karıştırdı ! - January 24, 2011(Turkish)
- POSTA GAZETESİ - RTÜK'ten Behzat Ç.'ye Türkçe Cezası - May 28, 2011(Turkish)
- HABER 5 - RTÜK Behzat Ç.'yi Sıkı Takip Ediyor ! - May 29, 2011(Turkish)
- MEDYA FARESİ - RTÜK'ten Behzat Ç.'ye Bir Ceza Daha! Polis İçki İçer mi? - June 6, 2011(Turkish)
- HABERTURK GAZETESİ - RTÜK Argo ve Alkol Sebebiyle Behzat Ç.'ye Ceza Kesti - June 6, 2011(Turkish)
- MİLLİYET GAZETESİ - Behzat Ç.'ye Alkol Cezası - June 7, 2011(Turkish)
- MEDYA FARESİ - Behzat Ç.'nin Senaristinden RTÜK'e Tepki: Sırada Seyircisiz Oynama Cezası mı Var? - June 8, 2011(Turkish)
- MİLLİYET GAZETESİ - Behzat Ç. Yine RTÜK'e Havale - May 25, 2012(Turkish)
- HÜRRİYET GAZETESİ - Behzat Ç.'ye RTÜK Cezası - June 12, 2012(Turkish)
- HABERTÜRK GAZETESİ - Behzat Ç.'ye Sert Tokat - June 18, 2012(Turkish)
- MİLLİYET GAZETESİ - RTÜK'ten Behzat Ç.'ye 273 Bin Lira Ceza Geldi - June 18, 2012(Turkish)
- HABERTÜRK GAZETESİ - Behzat Ç.'ye Haksızlık Mı Yapıldı? - June 20, 2012(Turkish)
- HÜRRİYET GAZETESİ - RTÜK'ten Behzat Ç.'ye Bir Ceza Daha - June 29, 2012(Turkish)
- RADİKAL GAZETESİ - RTÜK'ten Kestiği Cezalara Sansür - July 9, 2012(Turkish)
- Behzat Ç.: Bir RTÜK Çelişkisi(Turkish)
- The World: Global Perspectives For An American Audience: Why Turkey’s TV Cop Behzat Ç Makes Censors Uneasy
- Ekşi Sözlük: Entry For Behzat Ç. - Entry No.20253/Page No.2026 and onwards(Turkish)
- "Censor-Free" Version Of Behzat Ç. - 3rd Season 1st Part(Turkish)
- Medya Okur Yazarlığı(Turkish)
- / Akıllı İşaretler(Turkish)
- İnternet Güvenliği(Turkish)
- / İyi Uykular Çocuklar(Turkish)