Turkey: Regulatory Bodies

Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications

The Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications is the policy making authority for the Internet, information society and for communications in general.

Telecommunications Authority

The Telecommunications Authority was established in 2000 as the first regulatory body of the internet sector in the country. In 2008 its name was changed to the  Information and Communication Technologies Authority (ICTA). It is in charge of providing telecommunications services which are regulated by the Telecommunications Law (law n.406). It works fundamentally to create and maintain competition in the sector; to protect subscribers’ rights; and to plan and allocate frequencies. A full list of its duties can be found on the Authority’s website.

Telecommunications Communication Presidency

The Telecommunications Communication Presidency (TIB) is an independent regulatory authority responsible for internet regulation. It was established as part of the Telecommunications Authority in 2005. It is a central surveillance authority for communication. It has several powers that include issuing website blocking orders. Websites can be blocked in execution of the provision of the Internet Law, the Anti-Terror Law and certain provisions of the Penal Code.

Directorate General of Press and Information

The Directorate General of Press and Information (DGPI or BYEGM) is the press regulatory authority constituted under the authority of the Prime Minister. The Directorate maintains and organizes relations with domestic and foreign media and takes effective measures to facilitate their working conditions and activities. It also manages accreditations for members of the foreign press visiting Turkey on temporary missions for up to three months.

Radio and Television Supreme Council

The Radio and Television Supreme Council (Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu, RTÜK) was established in 1994 as “High Council” and then its status was changed in 2011 to “Supreme Council”. Its structure is defined in Section Eleven of the Law on Broadcasting. It is an administratively and financially autonomous regulatory body responsible for the video and radio regulations. The Council is composed of nine members elected by the “Turkish Grand National Assembly from persons who are over 30 years old, completed at least four years of higher education, worked for at least 10 years in public institutions and establishments or private enterprises on matters related to their professions and possess sufficient professional knowledge and experience as well as qualifications adequate for becoming a civil servant” (Article 35). Each member has a six year mandate and is entitled to vote for the election of the Council’s President and Vice President. The Council is responsible for supervising and controlling the broadcast of media service providers and their compliance to the law. It has several executive powers including the ability to suspend a programme if considered as violating the provisions of the law; furthermore it can issue fines. If the violation is reiterated, the RTÜK can suspend the broadcasting schedule and revoke company’s licenses.

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