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IRIS 1995-7:5/10


New Broadcasting Law

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Andrea Schneider

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

The new Turkish Law on broadcasting of 20 April 1994 is now also available in English. A constitutional amendment on 8 July 1993 made private broadcasting stations legal and abolished the state monopoly on broadcasting which until then had been enforced in writing in article 133 of the Turkish constitution. The monopoly on broadcasting had until then been held by the state broadcasting station Türkiye Radyo Televisyon kurumu (TRT). Before the new broadcasting legislation had been passed, private broadcasting stations operated more or less as "pirate stations" since no legislation existed to control them. The new broadcasting legislation establishes principles for radio and television programmes and sets up a Supreme Council for Radio and Television as the supreme regulatory body. The Broadcasting Council is made up of 9 members who are elected from among the representatives in the Turkish parliament for a period of six years. One third of the members are re-elected every two years. The Supreme Council is the only body which can grant licences and attribute broadcasting frequencies. A quarter of frequencies covering Turkey are given over to the state radio station TRT.

The legislation includes a quota of 50% for domestic productions which will be introduced gradually over a period of time. There is a ban on advertising for alcoholic beverages and tobacco as well as for prescription medicines. Other regulations covering advertising times, advertising content and sponsoring follow European standards to very great extent. The expression of opposing viewpoints and the right to correct false information have been guaranteed. Private broadcasting stations are obliged to operate under the form of a public limited company. Both foreign capital and capital of any one private individual is limited to a maximum of 20% of the shares.

The Broadcasting Council is responsible for the drawing up of frequency lists and the regulation of licence attributions.

Law on the organisation and broadcasting of radio stations and television channels, published in the Official Gazette No. 21911 dated 20 April 1994.