Turkey: RTUK Is Now Entitled To Supervise Online Media Service Providers

Last Updated: 22 August 2019
Article by Emir Aksoy LL.M., LL.M. IP

A draft to the Regulation on the presentation of online radio, television and on-demand broadcasts ("Regulation") was published on the website of Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council ("RTUK") on 27th of September 2018 and the final Regulation has been published on the Official Gazette of 1st of August 2019 with minor differences to the Draft.

Scope of the Regulation

Regulation will be applied to online radio, television, on-demand broadcasters, private media service providers and platform operators transmitting such broadcast services.

According to Article 4 of the Regulation individual Broadcasters will not fall under the scope of this Regulation.

Licensing and Authorization

Such media service providers will have to apply for a license or authorization within a month starting from the effective date of this Regulation(01.08.2018). Depending on the type of the media service(INTERNET RADIO, INTERNET TV, ON-DEMAND STREAMING BROADCAST) a license or authorization shall be granted to the applicants fulfilling the requirements of this Regulation.

The given license or authorization is only for the application-related media service only, separate applications for licenses or authorizations shall be made by the applicant for different type of services.

Online broadcasting licenses or authorizations will be granted for 10 years. At least two months prior to the end of the license or authorization period an application to RTUK for the renewal of the license or authorization may be made.

Fees

According to Article 12 of the Regulation license fees are as for online radios 10.000 TL, for online televisions and on-demand broadcasters: 100.000 TL.

For online tele-shopping themed broadcasters 5 times of the abovementioned license fees will be applied.

In case the service providers are providing their services through a paid subscription model and a limited access provided only to their subscribers shall pay in addition to the abovementioned license fees 0,5% of their annual net sales to RTUK until the end of April of the following year.

The license fees may be paid in cash or in installments.

Sanctions

In case a media service provider continues to provide their services online as of 1st of September, 2019 without a broadcasting license or authorization given by RTUK and RTUK detects such situation, RTUK will announce such situation on its webpage according to the Article 10 of the Regulation. Such announcement will be considered as a notification to the broadcaster. The broadcaster will be given three months time to apply for the related license or authorization; this period may be extended for another three months if the relevant license fees are paid in advance. In case such service providers fail to act in the given time, a removal of content and/or access ban request will be issued to the criminal peace judgeship and a related criminal complaint will be filed.

Conclusion

RTUK will be able to supervise the online media service providers that fall under this Regulation and intervene in the published content. Such media service providers have to evaluate if they fall under the scope of this Regulation and start their application procedures for a license or authorization to RTUK to avoid potential punitive and administrative sanctions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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