Local Press and Other Turkish Media

Turkish media is varied and competitive on the surface - but much of the media, across all mediums, is owned by large conglomerates with other business interests. This means that Turkish news media, whilst it does cover stories from different angles, is somewhat restricted in its viewpoints. Despite this, I would recommend that anybody living, working or doing business in another country makes an effort to consume local media. It is a great way to learn about the culture, as well as current events, and Turkey is no exception!

If you speak Turkish then, of course, you will have a much wider range of media and press to choose from. If you are learning Turkish then reading, watching and listening to local media is one of the best ways to improve your language skills.

Only 18% of Turks read a newspaper daily, according to the BBC, with television being by far the preferred medium.

Press Freedom

Turkey ranks 155 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index 2017. This is just below the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is an abysmal ranking for a democratic country.

Press freedom, which has been bad for years, has plummeted since the failed coup of July 2016. Journalists have been imprisoned in their dozens – many without trial. Journalists who are still practising in the country are not having a good time of it: many have had arbitrary restrictions on their travel, or suffered seizure of their assets. For up-to-date news on the media crackdown, see this (oft-updated) page from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Social media, now an important part of news distribution, is also heavily restricted in Turkey.


Zaman & Today’s Zaman

Now closed, as they were deemed to have been publishing on behalf of the Gülen movement, which is classified as terrorist organisation in Turkey.


  • Circulation of around 360,000
  • Owned by Doğan Media Group
  • Liberal and secularist
  • Classified advertisements, including many property ads
  • Runs a property portal: Hurriyet Emlak
  • Partnered with jobs website yenibiris.com


Hurriyet Daily

  • English language
  • Owned by Doğan Media Group
  • Liberal and secularist



  • Circulation of around 330,000
  • Owned by Doğan Media Group
  • Generally more focus on entertainment and gossip than on business or ‘serious’ news, but worth a look if you want to learn about Turkish culture



  • Circulation of around 150,000
  • Owned by Demirören Holding
  • Centre-left, secularist
  • Thorough coverage of international affairs
  • Known for being a bit sensationalist; often shares materials with the UK’s Sun and Daily Mail newspapers



  • Circulation of around 280,000
  • Formerly Gözcü, before being taken over by its employees in 2007 after it ceased publication
  • Openly critical of the ruling party (AKP). Read by Social Democrats.



  • Circulation of around 52,000
  • Centre-left, social democracy, dislikes religion in government affairs
  • Was the target of death threats in early 2015 after publishing excerpts from Charlie Hebdo following the notorious terror attack on the French magazine


Television stations

Television is the main source of news and entertainment for many Turks.

Although there are rising numbers of people using the internet for television, viewer numbers for traditional television appear to still be very high.

Turkey has a large range of television channels.

Government channels

The TRT (Turkish Radio and Television Corporation) channels in Turkey are run by the government. TRT held a monopoly on radio and television until the early 1990s.

TRT channels include:

TRT World

TRT’s newest channel. International and domestic news. English-language.


A general entertainment channel. Shows domestic and international entertainment programmes as well as sports, news and arts.

TRT Spor

A sports channel. Football and basketball hog most of the air time.

TRT Haber

News, culture and arts. Like TRT 1, you’ll find a few English-language programmes.

TRT 6/Kurdî

Kurdish-language channel.

Commercial channels

There are a great many commercial channels in Turkey. Popular broadcasters include:

  • Star TV (the first to break TRT’s monopoly)
  • Show TV
  • Kanal D
  • Fox

There are two main multi-channel services.


A cable service. Over 50 channels; most of these are in Turkish but you will be able to find English-language programmes through the BBC, French-language programmes through TV5 and German-language programmes through German RTL.


A satellite service. More than 120 channels, including children’s viewing, sports and entertainment. To use Digitürk, you will need a dish antenna.


As you’d expect in such a large country, the list of radio stations in Turkey is extensive.

To get an idea of the local radio stations, see this list.

TRT also broadcasts a large number of channels. You can see them (and listen to some of them online) here.

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