By circulation, the most popular daily newspapers are Hürriyet, Sabah, Posta, Sözcü and Habertürk. Newspapers with oppositional editorial line against the government corresponds to 65% of daily newspapers in circulation while pro-government newspapers’s share is 25%. 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 Do?an 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.
Newspapers with oppositional editorial line against the government corresponds to 65% of daily newspapers in circulation while pro-government newspapers’s share is 25%.
The total number of readers of print media in Turkey is low, when compared to the big population of the country (95 newspapers per 1000 inhabitants). Circulating newspapers where estimated at around 2,450 in 2010, of which 5 national, 23 regional and other local ones.
The media hubs of the country are Istanbul and Ankara. By circulation, the most popular daily newspapers are Hürriyet (330,000 daily sales in 2016), Sabah (300,000), Posta(290,000), Sözcü and Habertürk.
Big media conglomerates, with substantial interests in other economic sectors, dominate the media market and own all the major print and broadcast media. These are the Do?an Group, Turkuvaz, Ciner Group, Çukurova Group, Do?u? Group, and Feza Group:
The Do?an Group is the largest Turkish media conglomerate. It owns the mainstream/conservative daily Hürriyet, the boulevard daily Posta, the sports daily Fanatik(190,000), the business daily Referans (11,000), and the English-language daily Hürriyet Daily News (5,500). The group faced serious fiscal troubles in 2009.
The Turkuvaz Group, owned by the Çal?k Holding, has connections with the ruling party AKP. It owns the mainstream daily Sabah, the boulevard daily Takvim (120,000), the sports daily Fotomaç (200,000), and the most prominent regional newspaper Yeni As?r (40,000).
The Ciner Group launched Gazete Habertürk in March 2009, thus entering the media market.
The Çukurova Group owns the nationalist dailies Ak?am (150,000), Tercüman (15,000), and the boulevard paper Güne? (110,000).
The Albayrak business group publishes the conservative Islamic daily Yeni ?afak (100,000).
Demirören Holding publishes the dailies Milliyet and Vatan.
The Milli Gazete daily (50,000) is deemed to be the voice of Milli Görü?, a vision promoted by religious-conservative parties in the 1990s such as Necmettin Erbakan’s National Salvation Party in the 1970s and Welfare party during the 1990s.
Vakit (50,000) is a more radical and sensationalist Islamic daily, which has been subject to several prosecutions.
The Cumhuriyet daily (55,000), once linked to the left, is now the reference newspaper for Kemalists and nationalist groups linked to the main opposition CHP party.
Star (100,000) was launched by the businessman Ethem Sancak as an Islamic and liberal daily.
Magazines and periodicals too have a low circulation when compared with Turkey’s population. The main ones are Tempo, Turkuvaz Group’s Yeni Aktüel (8,000), and Newsweek Türkiye (5,000). Business magazines include Ekonomist and Para (around 9,000 copies each). Birikim is a well-reputed liberal-left journal, publishing elaborate articles on social and political issues. Minority newspapers include IHO and Apoyevmatini in Greek language; Agos, Jamanak and Nor Marmara in Armenian language; and ?alom by the Jewish community. Their survival is often at stake.
Distribution networks are in the hands of Do?an Group’s Yay-Sat and Turkuvaz Group’s Turkuvaz Da??t?m Pazarlama.
Radio enjoys a large number of listeners in the Turkey. There are more than 1000 radio stations in the country. The first attempts at radio broadcasting began in 1921 in Istanbul, Turkey. The first radio broadcast in Turkey began on May 6, 1927. In 1927, New York City, London, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow and Tehran connection was established. In 1945, Turkey’s first university radio with ITU Radio was established. First state radio, on May 1, 1964 TRT Radio began broadcasts, holding monopoly in radio broadcasting until 1994. Establishment of private radio stations began in the early 1990s. Internet radio in the late 1990s began to be established.
In 2010 Turkey had around 1,100 private radio stations, of which 100 available on cable – 36 national ones, 102 regional ones, and 950 local ones. TRT four radio channels include Radyo 1 (general), Radyo 2 (TRT-FM) (Turkish classical, folk and pop music), Radyo 3 (primarily classical music and also jazz, polyphonic and western pop music, broadcasts news in English, French and German), and Radyo 4 (Turkish Music). TRT’s international radio service Türkiye‘nin Sesi / Voice of Turkey broadcasts in 26 languages. TRT also has 10 regional radio stations.
Private radio stations offer mainly music programmes; the most popular ones are Kral FM (Turkish pop music), Süper FM (Western pop music), Metro FM (Western pop music), Power Türk (Turkish pop music), and Best FM (Turkish pop music). Several independent radio stations also broadcast in Turkey, including Istanbul’s Aç?k Radyo (Open Radio), the first to be financially supported by listeners, and encouraging listeners to participate in public discussions on sensitive issues to promote open dialogue.
An Armenian-language internet radio, Nor Radio, started broadcasting in 2009.
Television is the main information and entertainment source in Turkey. Turks have an average daily TV viewing time of 5 hours per person (5.15 during weekends), according to a RTÜK survey.
Television was introduced in Turkey in 1968 by the government media provider TRT, preceded by the first Turkish television channel ITU TV in 1952. Color television was introduced in 1981. TRT held a monopoly as state-owned public broadcaster for twenty years, until on 26 May 1989 Turkey’s first private television channel Star TV started its broadcasts from Germany – thus legally not breaching the regulations. In the following years more than 100 local TVs and 500 local radio stations began operating without licenses. The TRT official monopoly was finally lifted on August 1993, with a Constitutional amendment, liberalizing private broadcasting.
Today the public broadcaster TRT has 11 national television channels: TRT 1 (general), TRT 2 (culture and art), TRT 3 (youth channel with sports and music programs and live broadcasts from the Grand National Assembly of Turkey at specific hours), TRT 4 (education), TRT Müzik (wide range of music from traditional Turkish music to jazz). It also broadcasts a regional channel TRT GAP for the southeastern region of Turkey, and two international channels TRT Türk for Europe, USA and Australia, and TRT Avaz for the Balkans, Central Asia and Caucasus. A full-time Kurdish-language channel, TRT 6, was launched in 2009 within the democratization process.
Turkey’s television market included 24 national, 16 regional and 215 local television stations in 2010. It is defined by a handful of big channels led by Kanal D, ATV and Show, with 14%, 10% and 9.6% market share in 2013, respectively.
The main media conglomerates own all major TV channels: Do?an Group owns Kanal D, Star TV and CNN-Türk, Turkuvaz Group owns ATV, Çukurova Group owns Show TVand Sky Turk 360, Ciner Group owns Habertürk and Do?u? Group owns NTV. Kanal 7 is deemed controlled by Milli Görü?. Star Media Group owns Kanal 24 as well as the Stardaily. In 2006 Rupert Murdoch bought the majority of ?hlas Group’s TGRT channel.
The main private TV channels, as well as TRT 1, offer a similar mix of entertainment and news. Samanyolu and Kanal 7 are the channels with a more religious editorial line. Roj TV is a pro-PKK channel broadcasting in Kurdish language via satellite, rather popular in the South-East. Thematic TV channels include the 24/7 news channels NTV, CNN Türk(a joint venture with CNN International), Habertürk, Sky Turk 360, and TGRT Haber. Music channels include Kral TV and Number One TV. The quality of audiovisual media is limited by a lack of diversity and creativity among the media, and a “monolithic understanding of television broadcasting” given the quick imitation of popular programmes across channels.
The most important reception platforms are terrestrial and satellite, with almost 50% of homes using satellite (of these 15% were pay services) at the end of 2009. Three services dominate the multi-channel market: the satellite platforms Digitürk and D-Smart and the cable TV service Türksat.
Internet in Turkey has been available to the public since 1993, although experimentation at Ege University started in 1987. The first available connections were dial-up. Cable Internet has been available since 1998 and ADSL since 2001.
Internet users in Turkey reached 26.5 million in 2008, with a 34.5% penetration (up from 7.5% in 2004 and 13.9% in 2005), also thanks to internet cafés and workplace access. ADSL subscribers were 4.5 million in 2008. Only 7% of Turkish women used internet in 2009. Estimated internet penetration reached 51% in 2014.
Currently Türk Telekom’s TTNET ADSL2+ service is the most widely used Internet service in Turkey, offering speeds from 8 Mbit/s to 24 Mbit/s. TTNET offers VDSL2 service with speeds at 25 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s as well. Alternative broadband companies, while mostly still using TTNET infrastructure, such as SmileADSL and Biri are also available. Superonline is offering fibre broadband in limited areas in 12 cities, though the company is enlarging at a healthy pace. They currently offer up to 1000 Mbit/s speeds. Furthermore, relatively wide but not universal coverage of cable Internet is maintained by UyduNET, offering speeds from 10 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s.
In March 2012, TTNet and Superonline, which between themselves provide the bulk of Turkish broadband Internet access, have started applying “fair use” policies (known with the Turkish abbreviations AKK for “Adil Kullan?m Ko?ullar?” and AKN for “Adil Kullan?m Noktas?”) that are overly restrictive in terms of the allowed download and upload quotas. Most accounts are allotted 50 GB download (and 10 GB upload) quotas, after which the bandwidth is reduced 10-fold, down to 1 Mbit/s. Some users have reported that their broadband speeds were reduced in six days into the month.
All main newspapers and TV channels have internet websites, constantly updated. Yet, most news originate from news agencies and traditional media, and there is very little web-only content production.
The main news agencies in Turkey are Anadolu Ajans? (AA), Do?an Haber Ajans? (DHA), ?hlas Haber Ajans? (?HA), Ajans HaberTürk (Ciner Group) and ANKA. They often have access to expensive technical facilities thanks to being embedded in big media conglomerates.
Anadolu Ajans? (AA) was founded by Kemal Atatürk in 1920 during Turkey’s independence war, and remains the official state-subsidized news agency. It has 28 offices in Turkey and 22 abroad, providing 800 news items and 200 photos daily.
ANKA was founded in 1972 as an independent news agency; it provides a daily economic bulletin in Turkish and a weekly one in English.
Dicle Haber Ajans? (D?HA) is an independent news agency established in 2002, providing services in Turkish, English and Kurdish.
Foreign news agencies also operate freely in Turkey.
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