Turkey profile - Media

  • 2 December 2013
  • From the section Europe
Newspaper stand in Turkey
Image caption The military, Kurds and political Islam are sensitive topics for journalists

Turkey's airwaves are lively, with some 300 private TV stations - more than a dozen of them with national coverage - and more than 1,000 private radio stations competing with the state broadcaster, TRT. Television is by far the most influential news medium.

Powerful businesses operate press and broadcasting outlets; they include the Dogan group, the leading media conglomerate.

For journalists, the military, Kurds and political Islam are highly-sensitive topics, coverage of which can lead to arrest and prosecution. It is common for radio and TV stations to have their broadcasts suspended for airing sensitive material.

Some of the most repressive sanctions have been lifted as part of reforms intended to pave the way for EU entry. But it remains a crime to insult the Turkish nation.

Turkey has more journalists in prison than any other country, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported in 2012. It said dozens of Kurdish reporters were being held on on terrorism-related charges, while other detained journalists were accused of plotting against the Islamist-leaning government.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders has accused the official media regulator of "censoring at will those media it doesn't like".

TRT has introduced broadcasts in Kurdish, banned for many years, under reforms intended to meet EU criteria on minorities. Some overseas-based Kurdish TVs broadcast via satellite.

Istanbul is the media capital, hosting the main press outlets. The city is home to some 40 major dailies with nationwide reach and 30 provincial publications.

Around 36.4 million Turks were online by mid-2012 (Internetworldstats). Websites are subject to blocking. These have included YouTube, which was banned over videos deemed to be insulting to the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk. However, circumvention techniques are widely used. Facebook attracts more than 22 million users.

The number of Twitter users rose to 11 million after the Gezi Park protests in June 2013.

The press



  • Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) - state broadcaster, services include cultural/educational network TRT 1, popular music network TRT 3 and Turkish folk/classical music station TRT 4
  • Kral FM - popular private network
  • Super FM - popular private network