Turkey’s top media watchdog to regulate internet broadcasting, new draft bill foresees
The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) will be given the authority to regulate and monitor every kind of sound and visual broadcasting shared on the internet on a regular basis should a new government-led omnibus bill passes in parliament.
Licenses will be required to stream such internet broadcasting, the bill dated Feb. 2 says, daily Cumhuriyet reported on Feb. 5. In addition to the fee, a security clearance conducted by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and police will also be needed to get the license and RTÜK will be able to revoke the licenses of broadcasts that do not pass certain criteria, with a court decision, the daily reported.
Social media platforms that deliver news on a regular basis will be subjected to the same regulations if the law passes in parliament, such as Medyascope.tv, which delivers audiovisual journalistic content via Periscope, a live-stream video broadcasting smartphone app.
All newspapers’ video-based news and political parties’ broadcasting streams on their internet sites will be subjected to the same license and the RTÜK monitoring system, with the only criteria being such news being released on a regular basis.
Additionally, digital TV platforms such as Blu TV and Puhu TV will also be under RTÜK’s inspection.
Meanwhile, Transportation, Maritime Affairs, and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan on Feb. 6 said in response to reports of internet broadcasts being under RTÜK control, the government’s aim was “to bring a legislative regulation” but “not to intervene in any right broadcasting.”
“If you intervene in others’ realms of freedom, a restriction starts there. We are in a position to take precautions, to undertake a procedure in the issue of TV and radio broadcasts if an error is being made against national security and the country’s moral values. Regarding TV broadcasts, there is no censorship; every kind of program can be broadcast. Everyone can broadcast within the framework of our country’s and people’s values,” Arslan said in Ankara following an event organized as part of the “Safer Internet Day.”
“Due to legislation not existing regarding TV broadcasts via internet, people can make mistakes at this point. Our purpose is to bring a legislative regulation and to prevent this wrongdoing. Our purpose is not to intervene in anyone’s rightful broadcasting or work conducted within the framework of our values. We want everything that is normal in TV broadcasting to be able to be undertaken in internet broadcasting, too,” the minister added.