Turkish Media in 2002
"Turkish Internet Administration"
and digital arts by Ugur AKINCI, Ph.D.
(Turkish Torque : Friday,
April 26, 2002) I
still can't get over the new proposed RTUK [Turkish Supreme
Commission for Radio and Television] law that intends
to treat web sites as mere printed publications.
Constitution Commission of the Turkish Parliament that
approved the draft bill and is about to send it to the
General Assembly for a vote does not seem to have any
idea what a web site is all about. Otherwise, how could
it stipulate that all web sites daily submit a duplicate
copy of their contents to the nearest Chief Prosecutor’s
Office (Cumhuriyet Savciligi) as well as to the Office
of the Governor (valilik) or the County Chief Executive
accomplish such a job, the "Turkish Internet Administration"
(or Ministry?) of the future probably needs a 50-story-high
me explain why:
made a quick search on the Google Search Engine to determine
the approximate number of Turkish web sites. I searched
for the keyword "turkce" (which effectively
eliminates most non-Turkish web sites about Turkey). Google
returned an astonishing 129,000 web sites.
some of these "sites" are actually "pages"
that belong to the same site, and some of them may very
well be hosted on non-Turkish servers, I threw away
of them. That left me with the round number 100,000.
on another Turkish web site I’ve actually read that
"there might be 90,000 web sites in Turkey today,"
I am relatively confident that this is a realistic number
representing all existing Turkish web sites hosted within
Turkey. (When my wife found the number a bit too high,
I made another search by using the name of the village
in Kayseri where her uncle still lives. Google returned
we assume that an average web site has 10 pages (a very low number for many web sites), we end up with 1,000,000
(one million) total pages.
Since the new RTUK law demands duplicate copies, this
would necessitate submission of 2,000,000 web pages
a day, every day.
adds up to 60,000,000 (sixty million pages) to monitor
government workers (let’s say) work only 6 full
days, or 24 days a month, the "Turkish Internet Administration"
must read and grade 2,500,000 (two-and-a-half million)
web pages a day.
assume that an average government worker can read 100
pages a day. That would translate to 25,000 civil servants, pouring over web pages on a daily basis.
where would these 25,000 civil servants perform their
duties? If we assume that 5 workers work in an average
government office room, one would need 5,000 office rooms.
If one would build a "Turkish Internet Administration"
headquarters with 100 rooms to a floor, that would make
a 50-story-high skyscraper.
would be an exciting contribution to Ankara’s skyline
indeed since I do not think there any 50-story-high skyscrapers
in Ankara (or Turkey?) yet. But, if the Turkish Parliament’s
General Assembly votes the bill into a law and forces
President Sezer to sign it (since he cannot veto it twice
in a row) then perhaps that also means that it’s
time to start building the tallest administrative building
in whole Turkey.
* * * *
Cloudy Skies Over Turkish Media
Torque, Thursday, May 16, 2002)
Turkish Parliament's General Assembly has unfortunately passed (201-to-87) the RTUK (Radio Television
Higher Council) Media Law on Wednesday May 15, 2002. 245 deputies (127 ruling, 118 opposition)
did not participate in the vote.
the months and years ahead, one may expect to see more
stories like that of the Datca journalist Sinan Kara due
to the heavy penalties the new law brings for a series
of media infractions (examples below). The monetary penalties,
ranging from TL 10 Billion to TL 100 Billion, can run
as high as TL 250 Billion for repeat offenses.
Hurriyet, which published Kara's story, has supported
the new media law on the grounds that the law would flush
out the "real owners" of the Islamist publications
and TV/radio stations. Hurriyet columnist Fatih Altayli,
while taking note of its deficient articles, has neverthless
recommended first passing the bill and then amending some
of its articles (like those that regulate the Internet)
later on. Such pro-Islamic dailies as Zaman and Yeni Safak
have been fighting the RTUK law with every weapon in their
journalistic arsenal for the last month.
Journalist Gets 9 Years for Allegedly "Upsetting"
Kara has been practicing journalism for the
last 11 years in the Mediterranean coastal town
of gorgeous Datca. He is a reporter for
Dogan Haber Ajansi, and the owner of Datca Haber.
His stories have been published in such mainstream
press outlets as Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal, Gozcu,
Posta, and aired on Kanal D and CNN Turk TV channels.
career took an unfortunate turn last August when he published a story that read: "Swimming of dogs
has been banned by the Kaymakam [the Sub-Province
Governor] who claims that canines taking a bath
at sea is a sin (haram)."
was slapped with 18 (eighteen) separate law suits
that brought him 9 (nine) years in jail. In
addition, he was also sentenced to pay TL 4 Billion.
(For the Turkish original of this story see http://www.hurriyetim.com.tr/haber/0,,sid~1@nvid~127622,00.asp)
Hurriyet which carried the story (Kara works for
the same Dogan Media Group) claimed that Kaymakam
Savas Tuncer, Attorney General of the Republic Kerim
Tosun, and Datca Judge Mustafa Akmaz were in collusion
against Journalist Kara and approved Kara's sentencing
in the first session of the trial, with the "speed
of a jet plane."
brings us to our next story: passing of the RTUK
Media Law by the Turkish Parliament.
law, which has been vetoed by President Sezer last
year (on the grounds of its unconstitutionality)
and lambasted by RTUK Chairman Nuri Kayis himself, is
sent back to the President once again. The President has 15 days to decide whether to approve it or
re-send it to Turkish Constitutional Court. Legal opinion
is divided as to whether Sezer has to rubber-stamp the
bill or re-veto it since only 18 of the original 30 articles
of the law were discussed before the General Assembly
three coalition parties, (DSP, MHP and ANAP) voted for
the law except DSP Deputies Uluc Gurkan (a former
journalist), Ali Arabaci and Ziya Aktas who voted against.
MHP’s State Minister Ramazan Mirzaoglu, ANAP’s
Musa Ozturk and DSP’s Salih Dayioglu abstained.
Islamist-conservative SP, AKP and center-liberal DYP fought
against the passage of the bill.
RTUK Media Law allows up to 50% ownership of TV stations by any one individual (up from a max
of 20%). Owners of private radio and TV stations are
also allowed to participate in government tenders and trade in the stock market. Critics of the law claim that these
provisions will greatly increase the extent of monopolization
in the Turkish media.
Ozkok, the powerful Managing Editor of the secular-liberal
Hurriyet has written that 90% of the $ 400-500 Million
annual advertisement pie is shared among the top 12-to-15
media organizations. Those who oppose the law expect such uneven distribution of rewards
to become even more uneven in the future. As a consequence,
they also expect the survival pressure on the small- and/or
anti-establishment press to increase.
it is a sheer coincidence that both Ozkok and HaberTurk’s
owner Ufuk Guldemir were hospitalized with severe chest
pains within the last week. Their cardiograms revealed
that they luckily did not have a heart attack and they
were both released from hospital. (A third veteran journalist,
Metin Munir, however, had a real heart attack two weeks
ago. He is recuperating.) Such hospitalizations can also
be taken as indications of the tremendous pressures Turkish
media members are subjected to within the last couple
of months in defending and attacking this RTUK Media Law.
RTUK Media Law’s truly unacceptable provisions concern
Internet journalism. With this law, all Internet sites
are considered mere printed publications. Thus all such Internet sites are expected to submit
daily the contents of the site in duplicate to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office (Cumhuriyet Savciligi)
as well as to the Office of the Governor (valilik) or
the County Chief Executive’s Office (kaymakamlik).
to the new RTUK law, no web site can contain any material
that violates the "supremacy of the law, the general
principles of the Turkish Constitution, fundamental rights
and freedoms, national security, and general morality."
web content will be offered in the spirit of "a public
service." No web content will be allowed to contain
any material that targets "the Turkish Republic's
existence and independence, the indivisible union of the
Turkish state with its people and country, or Ataturk's
principles and revolutions."
the Turkish web sites will be prohibited from offering
content that "incites violence, separatism and enmity,"
or runs against "the national and moral values of
the society and structure of the Turkish family."
web sites will have to preserve the "secrecy of private
lives." The web contents will be "along the
same lines as the Turkish national education's general
goals, basic principles" and will serve the purpose
of "furthering the national culture."
web sites will not be allowed to attack the "personality
(manevi sahsiyet) of individuals."
will be prohibited from serving "unjust purposes
or interests (haksiz amac ve cikarlar)."
web sites will also be responsible for maintaining "equality
of opportunity" among political parties and democratic
this all will boil down to is a massive exodus of Turkish
web sites to the servers located in foreign countries. The number of web sites which cannot be hosted inside Turkey
but which nevertheless do continue to broadcast freely
from outside will increase. Two examples that immediately
comes to mind are www.atin.org
pushing to the underground
such internet operations, the Turkish government will
not only fail to control such broadcasts but will also
tarnish Turkey's reputation for setting obstacles against
free expression of ideas. That is the last thing Turkey
needs in this critical phase when Turkey is
trying to enter the European Union as a full member while
finding an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem.
and democratic Turkey may experience difficulties in continuing
to be a "model" to the rest of the developing
and Islamic world if the Turkish Parliament insists on
such anti-liberal media regulations.
Great Internet Fiasco of 2002
April 11, 2002) The
latest RTUK (Turkish Radio-TV Supreme Council)
bill becomes a law it will be close to impossible to launch
a private web site in Turkey and maintain it, unless you
have squeaky-clean and officially-approved content, a
fantastic budget, and a staff of dozens.
Because, according to the Article 27 of the said legislation,
you’ll have to satisfy all of the following conditions:
You’ll first have to submit a written petition to
the Office of the Province Governor (Valilik) and obtain
After you secure the official permission you will have
to submit the contents of every page on your site in duplicate
(and, if I'm not wrong, on a daily basis) to the Chief
Prosecutor’s Office (Cumhuriyet Savciligi) as well
as to the Office of the Governor (valilik) or the County
Chief Executive’s Office (kaymakamlik).
According to the new RTUK law, no web site can contain
any material that violates the "supremacy of the
law, the general principles of the Turkish Constitution,
fundamental rights and freedoms, national security, and
general morality." All web content will be offered
in the spirit of "a public service." No web
content will be allowed to contain any material that targets
"the Turkish Republic's existence and independence,
the indivisible union of the Turkish state with its people
and country, or Ataturk's principles and revolutions."
Moreover, the Turkish web sites will be prohibited from
offering content that "incites violence, separatism
and enmity," or runs against "the national and
moral values of the society and structure of the Turkish
family." The web sites will preserve the "secrecy
of private lives." The web contents will be "along
the same lines as the Turkish national education's general
goals, basic principles" and will serve the purpose
of "furthering the national culture." No web
sites will be allowed to attack the "personality
(manevi sahsiyet) of individuals." Turkish web sites
will be prohibited from serving "unjust purposes
or interests (haksiz amac ve cikarlar)." Web sites
will also be responsible for maintaining "equality
of opportunity" among political parties and democratic
can go on and on but you get the idea.
first draft of the RTUK law was vetoed last year by President
Ahmet Necdet Sezer, a former Justice of the Constitutional
Court, for its legal shortcomings. The bill has already
been approved by Turkish Parliament's Constitution Commission
and will shortly be sent to the General Assembly. This
is the bill's second reincarnation. Therefore, if it is
accepted by the General Assembly and sent back to Sezer
for his signature, Sezer will not have the right to exercise
his veto power for a second time. It already looks like
a done deal, unfortunately.
imagine there will be a new state bureaucracy just
to make sure that Turkish web sites are approved, maintained,
and kept free of any harmful content. How else will the
Turkish state examine and monitor tens of thousands (hundreds
of thousands? millions?) of web pages submitted daily?
will fairness and justice be maintained among the web sites that are rejected and approved? It is hard
will the state prevent
unwanted web sites posted on servers outside Turkey's
national borders? Will there be a "national filter"
system enforced by the PTT and all private telecommunication
firms to make sure that no Turkish user can access such
offensive sites from inside Turkey? How will the state
bureaucracy deal with the new technical challenges posed
by the new wireless systems and hand-held units?
law is a serious below to the hundreds of private web
sites that bloomed all over Turkey within the last
couple of years, delivering very original local content,
providing an exciting and stiff competition to the established
media outlets. By strapping these private web sites into
a very tight straight-jacket, the Turkish government will
not be advancing the freedom of expression in the country.
The only ones that will gain from it will be the existing
seems like the RTUK bill is drafted by lawmakers who do
not know their servers from their client machines, and
who have no idea how the Internet works. That's why in
the long run this is not an enforceable bill. The Turkish
lawmakers will sooner or later find that out as well,
but not before trying to push back the private ownership
of web sites -- the most democratizing force of social
evolution since the invention of television.
* * * *
Delivers Mega Salvo in RTUK Media Law Controversy
(Turkish Torque ,
Wednesday, May 8, 2002) The
discussions around highly controversial Turkish RTUK
(Radio and Television Higher Council) Media Law has
entered a heated and feverish phase with the bill waiting its turn to hit the General Assembly
floor. Turkish press reported that, the pressures on the
bill in its present form is so great that the voting will
be postponed to next week.
law has become a political football between two main
camps in Turkish media: The center-liberal secular establishmentarians
(e.g. daily Hurriyet, Milliyet) and pro-Islamic libertarian
anti-establishmentarians (e.g. daily Yeni Safak, Zaman).
Hurriyet's influential General Managing Editor Ertugrul
Ozkok delivered the loudest salvo of this battle-to-the-finish
by publishing a very confrontational column on May 7,
titled "Princes of Darkness, I'm Waiting For You" (see http://www.hurriyetim.com.tr/archive_articledisplay/0,,sid~9@nvid~124185,00.asp
<http://click.topica.com/maaamaxaaR5xxa4dDbRc/> for original essay in Turkish).
the RTUK law leads to more centralization and growth of
monopolies in Turkish media, then he is ready to apologize
from the Turkish people and quit journalism, Ozkok told his readers.
in return he said, if the bill does not lead to increased
centralization and monopolization, he also expected those
"AKP deputies in the Parliament, SP deputies and
their extensions in the media, will you also show the
courage I'm displaying here and resign from Parliament?
Will you quit journalism?"
see who will end up standing in this duel, that is, if
they have the courage for such chivalry," Ozkok wrote,
fumes of indignant anger reeking from his every word.
Hurriyet is the admiral's ship of Turkey's center-liberal
media and Ertugrul Ozkok is as famous and powerful a media
figure in Turkey as Dan Rather, or perhaps, Tom Brokaw
is in the United States. This escalation of cannon fire
is an indication of the depth of the gap separating the
parties and the size of the interests riding on the outcome.
Aspects of RTUK media Law
are 3 aspects of the RTUK law that galvanize the opposing
sides to such frenzy:
Extent of ownership in the TV stations and whether the owners would be allowed to participate in lucrative
are top burning issues. Currently, if an individual owns
more than 20% of any TV station he/she is not allowed
to participate in state bids.
claims that the new law will help identify the real owners
hiding behind today's fragmented proxy-ownership structure.
Pro-Islamic camp is scared that all the pro-Islamic politicos
and religious orders operating such TV stations for their
"nefarious purposes" would be exposed to the
bright light of public scrutiny. That's why they want
to defeat this law with everything in their disposal,
Ozkok et al. claim.
pro-Islamists, on the other hand, claim that the new law
will allow big media bosses win state tenders and increase
their monopolistic control over Turkish media, as well
as Turkish economy and banking.
Heavy penalties for various violations that would be brought upon medium-sized and small media establishments
would effectively muzzle or bankrupt many independent
the critics of the law complain.
The implementation of the same printed-press regulations
for Internet sites would end up closing most of them since
the Kafkaesque requirements (like submitting two copies of every web page every day to the
local government office) cannot be satisfied by these
small operations surviving on shoestring budgets and minimal
(mostly voluntary) staff. However, due to their highly-visible
exposition of many corruption cases (see www.yolsuzluk.com,
for example, a site banned in Turkey) such Internet sites
are targeted by the political establishment, the critics
of the law claim. The absurdity of the Internet articles
of the RTUK law is widely accepted, even by such central-liberal
and pro-State columnists as Fatih Altayli of Hurriyet.
What does Kayis
the chief critics of the RTUK law is President Ahmet
Necdet Sezer (who has already vetoed the bill draft
last month) and Nuri Kayis, RTUK's Chairman himself.
an appeal he has made to the Turkish parliamentarians
on May 22, 2001 in opposition to the law, Chairman
Kayis raised the following concerns:
If the bill becomes a law, monopolization trend in
the Turkish media will accelerate. In time, media monopolies will gain
a power that would be beyond control.
2) Turkish media organizations should learn
how to stand on their feet by relying on their readers, not on subsidies, credits and the opportunities
provided by the state.
3) Today some holdings are active in
a number of sectors, including media and have an important economic might.
media giants that also have extensive investments in non-media
UZAN GROUP, the owner of daily Star, Turkish News, Star
TV and Kral-Teleon TV also controls Kanal 6 TV and owns
the following: Imar Bank, Adabank, Cukurova Elektrik Power
Plant, Kepez Elektrik Power Plant, Rumeli Elektrik Power
Plant, Rumeli Cimento Cement Plant, Trabzon Cimento Cement
Plant,, Ladik Cimento Cement Plant,, Van Cimento Cement
Plant,, Sanliurfa Cimento Cement Plant, Bartin Cimento
Cement Plant, Gaziantep Cimento Cement Plant, Rumeli Holding,
Cestas, Telsim (cellular phone company), Eltem, Standard
Insaat Construction Company, Yapi Ticaret, Tunceli Pamuk
Iplik (Cotton Thread), Istanbulspor S.S. Sports Club,
Adanaspor A.S. Sports Club.
GROUP OF COMPANIES
own the [top-selling] dailies Hurriyet, Milliyet, Radikal,
Posta, Fanatik, Turkish Daily News, 36 magazines, Kanal
D TV, CNN Turk TV, Disbank Bank, Dogan Otomobilcilik (Automotive
Group), Dogan Yayincilik Publishing, Ditas, Yaratim Saglik
(Health), Ray Sigorta Insurance, Dogan Finansal Kiralama
(Financial Leasing), Zigana Elektrik Power Plant, Celik
Halat (Rope Factory), Petrol Ofisi (oil distribution),
Yaysat, Rekpa, Hurguc, Dogan-Raks (audio, video cassettes
GROUP owns NTV TV and CNBC-E TV, as well as
Garanti Bankasi Bank, Osmanli Bankasi Bank, Korfezbank
Bank, Filiz Gida (agribusiness), and 20 other assorted
owns Show TV and daily Aksam, as well as Turkcell (cellular
phone), Yapi Kredi Bank, Pamukbank Bank, Cukurova Insaat
(Construction), Cukurova Makine (Machinery), and Cukurova
The bill eliminates RTUK's autonomy.
Only five of nine RTUK members are proposed to be elected
by the Parliament. According to the current political
alignment, the government will have the opportunity to
appoint 7 out 9 RTUK members.
5) The Communication Faculties in the universities will not be able
to establish their own radio and TV stations.
Due to the penalties it brings, the RTUK
law will violate European Union norms and it will thus be sent back to the Parliament for revisions.
7) The monetary penalties foreseen by
this bill is too heavy to bear for a lot of medium- and small-size media organizations. Local
TV stations in Anatolia will go bankrupt if they are forced
to pay penalties ranging from TL 10 billion to TL 125
State TV and radio (TRT) will be accorded a privileged
status by placing it beyond RTUK's control and
regulations. This would create an unfair advantage
* * * * *
Monopoly vs. Profits in the U.S.
May 30, 2002)
The Turkish RTUK Media Law No. 4676 has been sent by President
Ahmet Necdet Sezer to Turkish Constitutional Court for
a second review and a possible appeal. The same bill
was vetoed by President Sezer last year. However, since
the Turkish Parliament has sent the same law back to the
Presidential Palace, Sezer did not have a chance to veto
it for a second time. But since all 30 articles of the
bill were not discussed by the General Assembly, he exercised
his right to demand a second Constitutional Court review.
President Sezer and RTUK Chairman Nuri Kayis strongly
opposed the bill not only because it contained articles
that would muzzle freedom of expression in Turkey, but
also because it could create monopolies in the Turkish
media. [A linguistic sidebar: Technically, I should really be talking
about "oligopolies" since "monopolies"
is a contradiction by definition. But I’ll stick
with the incorrect term because it is used frequently
both in Turkey and the United States.]
reading the text of the Law No. 4676, I’ve got curious
about the situation in the United States.
for example, a similar change in media/communication legislation
lead to monopolization in American media – as the
opponents of 4676 claim?
answer in "yes."
The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 removed many of the old ownership limits in the U.S. radio and
television industry. Since then there has also been a
pronounced increase in monopolization in U.S. media. The
concentration of radio station ownership in a few hands,
for example, is one very clear post-1996 trend. Previously, a person could own only four
radio stations in any given metropolitan "market."
Now it’s eight. It used to be that a company could
own a total of no more than forty radio stations. Now
there’s no limit.
that’s not the end of the story.
behind the warnings against monopolization is that "monopolies
make more money" through predatory pricing forced
upon a captive audience.
come across a surprising fact: the same U.S. media monopolies did not always make more money
than before. Some actually seem to be losing money. The pie gets bigger but when swallowed
it sometimes turns into a poison pill.
This is how
the process worked in the United States:
1) Taking advantage of the 1996 Telecommunications
Act, those owners with access to credit started to gobble
up their smaller competitors. Some of these smaller competitors
voluntarily sold their stations at the highest possible
prices and moved onto other ventures.
2) Monopoly owners acquired their competitors
so fast that they ended up with a huge debt. To pay off
their debt, they had no choice but to enforce operational
standardization and consolidation of previously separate
3) The drive to save money and to lower
overhead costs forced these TV and radio stations to fire
people, to saddle the remaining staff with multi-tasks,
broadcast only the commercially safest and focus-group-researched
fare, and resort to taped or "automated" programs
during late-night and pre-dawn hours. Through the "voice
tracking" technology, instead of relying on local
talk-show hosts and DJs, these monopolies started to employ
nationally renown media personalities with a following
to host shows at a distance. So that, for example, the
same radio DJ physically working in Washington D.C. started
to host programs for local stations owned by the same
monopoly in Detroit and Los Angeles as though he were
As a result of bland programming and elimination
of local content, both the number of listeners/viewers
dropped and advertisement dollars started to dry up. Thus
the revenue-draining cycle started to regenerate itself.
Clear Channel Corporation
A case in point is Clear Channel (CC) corporation which today owns approximately one out of every ten radio
stations in the United States -- 1,220 out of a total
of 11,400 commercial radio stations.
Before the Act of 1996, CC owned only 30 radio stations.
the $350 million Washington D.C. radio ad market (probably 65% of the total TV and radio ad market in Turkey)
CC owns the top 8 FM radio stations (including Soft Rock 97.1, Big 100 WBIG,
DC101, 98.7 WMZQ) and 18 smaller stations in Maryland and Virginia. On the AM side,
CC also owns 3 more stations. Its market share in Washington
market is around 30%.
In some cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, CC’s
market share could soon hit an incredible 90%.
If there is a media monopoly, Clear Channel is it.
However, the company lost money every quarter last year, as reported by the Washington Post.
CC’s annual loss stands at $ 1.1 billion dollars. Due to its aggressive expansion, it has a total debt of
$8 billion. Due to a decrease in advertising revenues,
its stock lost 50% of its value within the last year.
In the Washington D.C. market, CC’s radio ad market
share slipped from 28.8% last year to 27.7%.
economies of scale and a tightly run ship could save a
radio monopoly, it would have saved CC and made it a profitable
enterprise by now. For example, all five major FM stations
that CC owns in Washington are run from the same unassuming
building on the Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland,
where "everyone here has at least two or three jobs,"
according to Bennett Zier who runs all CC operations in
the area. One station’s program director regularly
doubles up as the program director of another one, although
the two stations may be broadcasting diametrically opposed
music styles like rock’n roll versus bluegrass.
"The eight stations [owned by CC] are programmed
by just four people," the Washington Post reported.
it comes down to is that listeners did not forgive poor
quality -- bland programming plus up to 20 minutes
of commercials per hour. It is a fact that Americans
spend 10% less time listening to their radios than in
1996 – precisely the year in which the new and permissive
Telecommunications Act was passed. Thus, in accordance with the "Law
of Unintended Consequences," what spiraled out as
an opportunity for giant radio monopolies to control the
market and squeeze every available dollar out of the airwaves
has actually backfired and is now costing the same monopolies
"But that's America. And this is Turkey..."
this process is unfolding itself within a relatively open
market structure where the number of listeners and advertising
dollars dance a classic tango of supply and demand.
why on the one hand I feel like saying that one should
not be that concerned about the prospects of monopolization
in Turkish media because if they can’t give superior
service to the listeners and viewers, they’ll end
up getting crushed under their own weight. And if, on
the other hand, they end up giving better service at a
lower price, who is to suffer?
knowing how political power in Turkey can be jostled and
leveraged to reward even the most inept economic ventures,
I’m also afraid that, even if they broadcast
mediocre content that no one enjoys and no advertiser
rewards, these Turkish media monopolies may not be selected
out of the market by the kind of "evolutionary"
mechanism one observes in the United States. Instead, just like all those Turkish
bankers who were rewarded handsomely for lending out non-performing
loans and bankrupting their own banks, these media monopolies
may find a way to get rewarded for their market failures
That’s why such comparisons between Turkish and American
processes must always take into account the outer political
context within which such market dynamics are playing
themselves out. That’s perhaps where the "social
science" stops and journalism begins.
- . -
Above articles published previously Ugur Akinci's e-newsletters
in Turkish Torque
between April and May 2002.
Ugur Akinci's digital arts have been published as the
first time on the Light Millennium
Ugur Akinci's his own current e-publications continue
on the Turkish Torque
to the author: email@example.com
© Copyright 2002 Ugur Akinci, Ph.D.