Samanyolu TV

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Samanyolu Televizyonu (STV)
Samanyolu Tv logo.jpg
Launched January 13, 1993
Closed July 19, 2016
Owned by Samanyolu Yayıncılık A.Ş.
Picture format 4:3 (576i, SDTV)
Slogan Samanyolu TV
Country Turkey
Language Turkish
Broadcast area Turkey and International
Headquarters Çamlıca, İstanbul
Ziggo (Netherlands) Channel 776

Samanyolu TV was an international Turkish language TV station, with its headquarters in Istanbul.

Samanyolu TV was previously owned by Yayıncılık A.Ş. Yayıncılık A.Ş. is a media company that operates radio and television broadcasting, publication and distribution of newspapers. The first satellite service for Samanyolu TV was aired towards Central Asia. Samanyolu TV proceeded into North America by 1999, with Turksat as its new mainstream satellite operator. Samanyolu TV has later created two official websites for Turkish origins of both, North American audiences, and Turkish audiences .[1] These two websites also include online streaming (“CANLI YAYIN”) and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in 2005-2013.

On 19 July 2016, its license was revoked and the channel closed by the Radio and Television Supreme Council due to alleged links with the Gülen Movement following the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt.[2]

Naming and influences[edit]

Samanyolu TV is generally assumed that it has adopted the name (meaning Milky Way in English) with religious connotation. In essence Milky Way pedals the notion of a "other" universe aside from the present world. One may see that the title of the television station plays an important role for the list of programs it airs for its audiences. Samanyolu TV contains several BBC programs that pertains heavy emphasis on culture, politics, and utmost religion. Samanyolu TV is funded by many individuals and companies. But the most constructive contribution is led by Fethullah Gülen. Gülen is a well-known Turkish Muslim preacher, scholar and author. Gülen is currently living in exile in the United States, due to the formation of the Gülen Movement which has had much controversy and criticism in Turkey.[3]


That being said, Samanyolu TV programs contain controversial contents with relation to Islamic teachings upon cultural norms. It is both seen as negatively and/or positively for some audiences.

One from the many examples that implements religious content, is the television series Küçük Kiyamet (meaning The Little Apocalypse in Turkish).

Samanyolu TV has two policies regarding commercials, one for local viewers in Turkey where the station is wide open for a range of commercials. For North American audiences the commercials are limited and the same commercials play repeatedly.

Aside from commercials, Samanyolu TV has included a new program entitled Ebru TV designed for English-speaking audiences and open to people of any cultural background. Ebru TV is most popular for individuals residing in Canada and the United States. Samanyolu TV also has an official News program that broadcasts locally and internationally to its viewers.

Samanyolu TV includes children programs that are family-friendly, with children's programs such as Caillou on the channel. Furthermore, for all audiences, the channel includes shows such asYeşil Elma (meaning Green Apple in Turkish); travel shows such as Ayna (Mirror); also including programs imitating the Discovery Channel, with shows such as Belgesel (Documentary). Farklı Desenler ('Different Patterns' in Turkish), is another popular television drama series.

December 2014 crackdown[edit]

On 14 December 2014 Turkish police arrested more than two dozen senior journalists and media executives, including Samanyolu TV General Manager Hidayet Karaca on charges of "forming, leading and being a member of an armed terrorist organization." The arrested are people associated with the Gülen movement. The Turkish government accuses the movement of infiltrating the police and judiciary.

A statement by the US State Department cautioned Turkey not to violate its "own democratic foundations" while drawing attention to raids against media outlets "openly critical of the current Turkish government."[4][5]

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said that the arrests went "against European values" and "are incompatible with the freedom of media, which is a core principle of democracy".[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "RTÜK'ten kanal kapatma kararı" (in Turkish). NTV. Retrieved 19 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Stourton, Edward (2011-05-24). "What is Islam's Gulen movement?". BBC. BBC World News. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  4. ^ "In Turkey, police arrest journalists and executives". CNN. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Court rules for release of Zaman chief editor, Samanyolu manager arrested". Today's Zaman. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Turkey media arrests: Mogherini leads EU criticism". BBC. Retrieved 19 December 2014.