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Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu
Agency overview
Formed 1994
Headquarters Ankara
Agency executive Davut Dursun

RTÜK, short for (Turkish: Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu, English: Radio and Television Supreme Council),[1] is the Turkish state agency for monitoring, regulating, and sanctioning radio and television broadcasts. RTÜK was founded in 1994 and is composed of nine members elected by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.[2] RTÜK is located in Ankara and maintains local offices in İstanbul, İzmir, Adana, Diyarbakır, and Van.

Notable sanctions and penalties imposed by RTÜK

  • RTÜK is known for sanctioning the broadcasts of a large number of domestic productions, such as Gülşen's video clip for the song Sarışınım,[3] on grounds of "violating the national and moral values of the community and Turkish family structure" (RTÜK Law Art. 4/e), "obscenity" (ibid. 4/t), and "impairing the physical, mental, and moral development of young people and children" (ibid. 4/z).
  • Among foreign productions sanctioned by RTÜK for similar rationales are Wild Things 3,[4] Nip/Tuck, and Gossip Girl.[5] In September 2009, RTÜK banned the broadcasting of the video clip for the song Love Sex Magic, stating that the video "contains sexual outfits, dancing and scenes that are contrary to the development of children and youth and morality in general."[6]
  • RTÜK also imposes closure orders on TV and radio stations on the grounds that they have made separatist broadcasts. A verdict of high international profile was the banning of Turkish language programmes of BBC World Service and Deutsche Welle on the grounds that they "threatened national security."[8]
  • Critics claim that verdicts of RTÜK resulted in excessive self-censorship of broadcasters.[9]
  • The "stream-lining" poliicies of RTÜK with that of the Turkish Government is exemplified once more when they successively imposed huge monetary penalties to the producers of the TV series Behzat Ç. Bir Ankara Polisiyesi as well as the TV channel broadcasting it. The series explicitly demonstrate the corrupt policies and practices of the Turkish courts, governmental authorities, the bureaucrats, etc. and therefore is widely criticized by the ruling A.K.P. (Justice and Development Party)-led Turkish government. The ministers of the government as well as many A.K.P. MPs had explicitly criticized the TV series and asked the producers to stop production and the TV channel to stop broadcasting; however they had to back down amid extremely widespread protests of the spectators and fans of the series. As a result, the government is now (as of 2012) trying to press the producers and the TV channed by imposing huge monetary penalties on feeble claims such as "the violation the national and moral values of the community and Turkish family structure" (RTÜK Law Art. 4/e), "obscenity" (ibid. 4/t), and "the impairment of the physical, mental, and moral development of young people and children" (ibid. 4/z).[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] RTÜK alleges that the major characters of the series "drink too much", "swear too much", "conduct behavior against the moral values of the Turkish family life"-the latter just because the bachelor police chief is seeing a single(divorced) female prosecutor of state and that "they have a relationship out of wedlock". The first season of the series were heavily penalized by the RTÜK and the second season brought even more penalties of the RTÜK to the producers of the series and the broadcasting TV channel. As a result, when the second-season of the series finished in June 2012, all spectators and fans were pessimist on whether they will be watching a third-season. The third season started to air on Sep. 21, 2012 but with a heavy censor on all conversations, extreme censor on scenes where the characters drink beer, etc. and consequently, the website of the TV channel broadcasting the series over the internet received more than 130,000 hits in the other day of the broadcast in just a couple of hours when word spread among fans that a "censor-free" version is available.[25][26][27]


  • tr:Gün Radyo ve TV in 2002 ordered off air for a year for broadcasting Kurdish-language songs[28]
  • Günlük case
  • Nur Radyo Ve Televizyon Yayinciligi A.S. v. Turkey (no. 2) (ECHR 2010 - judgement of breach of Article 2010)[29]

RTÜK's Family Projects

Besides sanctioning broadcasts, RTÜK also leads some projects purportedly "to protect children and to help parents in media environment". These projects are:

  • Media Literacy (Medya Okur-Yazarlığı)[30]
  • Smart Signs (Akıllı İşaretler) projects aims at a rating system similar to television rating systems in other countries.[31]
  • Internet Safety (İnternet Güvenliği)[32]
  • Good Night Kids (İyi Uykular Çocuklar) is a cartoon show that aims at children's gaining habits of going to bed early.[33]


Prior to 1994, television and radio broadcasts were only permitted by the state. The Law No. 3984 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises and their Broadcasts, dated 13 April 1994 liberalised this, allowing an explosion of private media. The 1994 law was replaced by Law No. 6112 on the Establishment of Radio and Television Enterprises, which came into force on 15 February 2011.[34][35][36]


See also

  • List of ECHR cases concerning Article 10 in Turkey
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