Turkey - Media

Postal, telephone, and telegraph service is owned and operated by a semi-independent government enterprise under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Mainline telephones in 1999 numbered about 19.5 million, with 17.1 million cellular phone subscribers in 2001.

In 2001, there were 16 AM and 107 FM radio stations. In 1995, there were 635 television broadcast stations. All broadcasts are monitored by the government through The High Board of Radio and Television. In 2000, Turkey had 573 radios and 449 television sets for every 1,000 people. In 2001, there were 50 Internet service providers serving 4 million subscribers.

Although the 1982 constitution guarantees freedom of expression, it also authorizes newspaper confiscations and closures in the cases of crimes against the unity, security, or republican principles of the state. After the 1980 coup, the military government, which had vested control of the press in the provincial martial law administrators, repeatedly closed down newspapers it claimed had published material damaging to the national interest. As of 1999, the government is still said to limit free expression significantly.In 2002, there were over 100 daily newspapers in print many of which had small local circulations. The independent leftist Cumhuriyet (1999 circulation 120,000) has been closed and reopened a number of times. Other leading Istanbul dailies (with 2002 circulation figures) are Sabah (700,000); Hurriyet (542,780); Gunaydin-Tan (386,000) and Bugun (184,880). Turkiye and Milliyet are both distributed throughout the major cities; circulation figures were unavailable in 2002.

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