Turkish Radio and Television Corporation

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT; Turkish: Türkiye Radyo ve Televizyon Kurumu) is the national public broadcaster of Türkiye, founded in 1964. TRT was for many years the only television and radio provider in Türkiye. Before the introduction of commercial radio in 1990, and subsequently commercial television in 1992, it held a monopoly on broadcasting. More recent deregulation of the Turkish television broadcasting market produced analogue cable television. Today, TRT broadcasts around the world, including in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, the United States, and Australia.

Turkish Radio and Television Corporation
Native name
Türkiye Radyo ve Televizyon Kurumu
Company typeIncentive
IndustryTelevision station
Radio station
Founded1 May 1964; 60 years ago (1964-05-01) (Ankara Radio)
31 October 1968; 55 years ago (1968-10-31) (TRT 1)
HeadquartersÇankaya, Ankara, Turkey
Key people
OwnerGovernment of Turkey

Around 70% of TRT's funding comes from a license tax on television and radio receivers. Additionally, a 2% TRT tax was added to the electricity bills until January 2022. As these are hypothecated taxes, as opposed to the money allocated to general government funds, the principle is similar to that of the television licence levied in a number of other countries, such as the BBC in the United Kingdom. The rest of TRT's funding comes from government grants (around 20%), with the final 10% coming from advertising.[1]


TRT's headquarters in Ankara.
TRT Istanbul Tepebaşı studios

TRT's predecessor, Türkiye Radyoları was one of 23 founding broadcasting organisations of the European Broadcasting Union in 1950; it would return to the EBU fold as TRT in 1972. The original company started radio test broadcasts in 1926, with a studio built in Istanbul in 1927 and a studio in Ankara following in 1928.

Test transmissions started on TRT 1 on 31 January 1968. A full national television schedule, which at that time linked the areas in and around Ankara, Istanbul, and İzmir, started in December 1971.[2] TRT renewed its membership in the European Broadcasting Union (having been a founding member previously offering only radio) starting on 26 August 1972, with Türkiye's first Eurovision Network event, a football match (Türkiye vs. Italy), airing across Europe on 13 January 1973.[2] TRT also joined the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union in 1976, the same year their first colour television test was showcased via laboratory at the general assembly of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference.[2]

All programming was in black and white from the start of test transmissions in 1968 until the New Year's Eve programming on 31 December 1981, when the first on-air colour tests started.[3] The entire lineup switched to colour on 15 March 1984.[3]

TRT organised the Eurovision Song Contest 2004, with the semi-final on 12 May 2004 and the final on 15 May 2004.

On 19 May 2012, TRT 1 HD started simulcasting with TRT 1 upscaled to full HD 16:9 DVB-S2 standard.

In January 2018, TRT celebrated its 50th anniversary. All TRT channels broadcast a collection of old idents and news studio (still being modern logo) as part of the celebration in form of nostalgia. Each day new idents were made. This event also happened in 1978, 1988, 1998 and 2008.

On May 9, 2023, TRT Diyanet Children's channel started its test broadcast.[4][5]

During the July 2016 coup attempt, TRT offices in Istanbul and Ankara were raided by lieutenant colonel Umit Gencer and other soldiers. TRT news anchor Tijen Karas was forced to read a statement from the plotters live on TV declaring the coup. After the coup attempt, people in TRT were either fired or forced to retire. According to Haber-Sen Union, 1800 workers were forced to retire. The union protested this situation on 21 November 2018 in Istanbul, Ankara, Diyarbakir and Brussels.[6] During the protests, TRT employees stated that they were exposed to psychological pressure defined as MOBING. TRT employee Osman Köse stated that more than 3,000 TRT employees had been transferred to other state institutions and 5,000 people had been dismissed from TRT.[7] Many TRT employees were dismissed and imprisoned on charges related to the coup attempt. According to the list published in the 'Resmi Gazete' of the state, 312 people were dismissed.[8] According to a report provided by Gülen-linked NGO Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), approximately 150 TRT employees were accused of being members of a 'terrorist organisation'.[9]

Director generals of the TRT


The director generals of the institution are as follows:[10]

  1. Adnan Öztrak (1964–1971)
  2. Musa Öğün (1971–1973)
  3. İsmail Cem (1974–1975)
  4. Nevzat Yalçıntaş (1975)
  5. Şaban Karataş (1976–1977)
  6. Cengiz Taşar (1978–1979)
  7. Doğan Kasaroğlu (1979–1981)
  8. Macit Akman (1981–1984)
  9. Tunca Toskay (1984–1988)
  10. Cem Duna (1988–1989)
  11. Kerim Aydın Erdem (1989–1993)
  12. Tayfun Akgüner (1993–1996)
  13. Yücel Yener (1997–2003)
  14. Şenol Demiröz (2003–2005)



Television channels

During the days when the photo was taken, Radio Station Ankara used to do live broadcasting. Every Saturday, Radio Kids Club programme was broadcast. Ankara Radio Station started broadcasting at the basement floor of Ankara Palas in 1927. After moving several times, it finally settled in its final destination at the Atatürk Boulevard since 28 October 1938.

All television channels can be watched via Turksat satellite in Europe in Asia and terrestrial in Türkiye and neighbouring countries. Some of them are also found on cable TV systems.


  • TRT 1 (launched January 1968) – General entertainment channel with a broad schedule featuring local and foreign series, Turkish and Hollywood cinema, live shows with Turkish folk music, Turkish classical music and pop music, live sport, news & current affairs plus special events.
  • TRT 2 (launched September 1986, shut down March 2010, relaunched February 2019) – Highbrow channel with a broad schedule featuring cultural and educational shows, heavy promotion of the arts (Turkish and international), cultural talkshows, documentaries, and local and foreign films.
  • TRT 3 Spor (launched October 1989) – Live and archive sport including Formula 1, World and European Figure Skating Championships, World and European Athletics Championships, Turkish Women's Volleyball league, U18 Basketball plus feature programmes. When parliament is in session, TRT 3 relays live coverage of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM-TV).
  • TRT Çocuk (launched November 2008) – Children's programming, animated programmes and educational programmes. The station now broadcasts 24 hours a day.
  • TRT Kurdî (launched January 2009) – Channel broadcasting in Kurdish.
  • TRT Müzik (launched November 2009) – 24-hour music channel with Turkish folk and classical music. It also airs pop, rock, jazz & ethnic music.
  • TRT Belgesel (launched November 2009) – 24-hour documentary channel.
  • TRT Haber (launched May 2010) – News and current affairs, sports news and weather.
  • TRT 4K (launched February 2015) – Ultra HD television channel of TRT. This is the first 4K television channel in Türkiye.[11]
  • TRT Spor Yıldız [tr] (launched September 2019[12]) – Alternate channel to TRT Spor.


TRT Avaz announcer who interviewed during the 2014 state elections in Austria.
  • TRT Türk (16:9, not encoded in DVB signal) (formerly known as TRT INT) – International news, current affairs, documentaries and cultural programming aimed at both Turks and Turkish speaking audience living abroad. It's the first TRT channel to make extensive use of a private production company for news programming.
  • TRT Avaz (formerly known as TRT Türk) (launched March 2009) – International channel aimed at the Turkic republics and Turks living in the Balkans. The channel has a focus on entertainment and documentaries as opposed to TRT Türk's new focus on news. Programmes are broadcast in a mixture of languages including Turkish, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Uzbek and Turkmen.
  • TRT World – International news, current affairs, documentaries and cultural programming in English for international audiences.
  • TRT Arabi (launched April 2010) – Broadcasts 24 hours a day in Arabic language with programs aimed at Arabs in Turkey, as well as the wider Arab world and Middle East.

Minority languages


TRT has a special TV channel for Kurdish that broadcasts on a 24-hour / 7-day basis called TRT Kurdî and other TV and Radio stations that broadcast programmes in the local languages and dialects like Armenian, Arabic, Bosnian and Circassian a few hours a week.[13][14]

Another special TV channel aimed at the Turkic world, TRT Avaz was launched on 21 March 2009 and broadcasts in the Azerbaijani, Bosnian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Turkmen languages; while the TRT Arabic television channel started broadcasting on 4 April 2010.[15]

Closing and opening times throughout the years

  • 31 January 1968: TRT 1 launched at 19:15 and closed at 20:51
  • 1970: TRT 1 launched at 19:00 and closed at 22:00
  • 1975: TRT 1 weeknights launched at 19:00 and closed at 23:00 and weekends launched at 18:00 and closed at midnight
  • 1981: TRT 1 weeknights launched at 19:45 and closed at 23:00, Saturdays launched at 17:00 and closed at 23:40 and Sundays launched at 10:00 and closed at 23:00
  • 1984: TRT 1 weeknights launched at 19:00 and closed at 23:00, Saturdays launched at 17:30 and closed at midnight and Sundays launched at 14:00 and closed at midnight
  • 1986: TRT 1 close at midnight, TRT 2 at 23:30 or midnight
  • 1987: TRT 1 and TRT 2 close at midnight
  • 1988: TRT 1 close at 01:00, TRT 2 at midnight
  • 1989: TRT 1 close at 01:00, TRT 2 and TRT 3 at midnight
  • 1990: TRT 1 close at 01:00, TRT 2 and TRT 3 at midnight, TRT 4 at 23:30
  • 1992: TRT 1 close at 02:00, TRT 2 at 01:00, TRT 3 at midnight, TRT 4 at 23:30
  • 1993: TRT 2 at 01:00, TRT 3 at midnight, TRT 4 at 23:30
  • 1997: TRT 1 and 2 close at 02:00, TRT 3 and 4 at midnight
  • 2002: TRT 1 & 2 open 24/7. 3 and 4 open 7:00-0:30
  • Since 2010: all channels 24/7 (TRT 4/TRT Çocuk (4th channel of TRT) and TRT GAP/TRT Spor/TBMM-TV (3rd channel of TRT) couples are exception but in whole couples they broadcast 24/7 too.)

Radio channels

TRT Radio Istanbul headquarters in Harbiye, Şişli, Istanbul
  • Radyo 1 (launched in May 1927) – spoken-word programmes including culture, arts, drama, news, science, society, education and history
  • TRT FM (formerly Radyo 2, launched in May 1964) – A mixture of Turkish pop, folk and classical music, foreign pop, call ins, news and travel information
  • Radyo 3 (launched in September 1974) – Classical music, jazz, world music, foreign pop & rock
  • TRT Kurdî Radyo [tr] (formerly Radyo 6, launched in 2009) – Broadcasting in Kurdish language for Kurds in Turkey
  • TRT Radyo Haber [tr] (launched in September 1993) – News programmes
  • TRT Nağme – Turkish classical music
  • TRT Memleketim FM [tr] – Broadcasting for Turks in Europe
  • TRT Türkü – Turkish folk music and türkü
  • Voice of Turkey (launched in December 1982) – Broadcasting with 26 different languages and around the World.

Regional channels


Teletext and EPG


TRT started teletext trial-runs with the name “Telegün” on 3 December 1990. All TV channels are broadcasting the teletext. 6 channels are also broadcasting their programs with the Electronic program guide (EPG).

Exportation of TRT Series


TRT, recognized as Türkiye's state television and engaged in public broadcasting, initially captured viewership with imported programs, series, and films from abroad, gradually expanding its screens to include domestic productions and producing its own content.[16] Examining television studies at both international and national levels reveals that the societal, economic, and sociological challenges within countries have consistently been reflected in cinema or television productions throughout different periods.[17]

Turkish TV series, widely popular within Türkiye, have now gained international recognition, surpassing expectations and serving as a promotional tool for Türkiye, leading the country to become the second-largest exporter of TV series globally as of 2018.[18] Türkiye, exporting its TV series internationally since 1981, particularly highlighted by the export of the series "Aşk-ı Memnu" first aired on TRT in 1975 to France, has become the second-largest exporter of TV series globally after the United States as of 2019, and in 2022, it is known that around 100 Turkish series were exported to 150 countries, emphasizing the economic significance and communicative role of TV series.[19] Turkish dramas have evolved from domestic productions to globally exported products, competing with local shows and U.S. imports in terms of viewership, and they have also expanded their reach to countries beyond their linguistic regions, including Azerbaijan, other Turkic-speaking nations, and Western Europe, where a significant expatriate Turkish audience resides.[20] Considering all these, it can be noted that “Turkish TV series now reach 400 million viewers worldwide”.[18] Since 2000, Turkish soap operas have consistently grown in production, achieving significant success locally and expanding their influence globally through exports, initially in regions culturally connected to the former Ottoman Empire such as the Balkans and the Middle East, and subsequently reaching as far as Latin America, China, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and more.[21] It should be also stated that “after 2010, the film and television sector received growing support from the Ministry of Customs and Trade to promote exports in the sector”.[18] It is scholarly stated that “over the twelve-year period from 2010 to 2022, information indicates that TRT has undertaken 50 different television projects in the "family" genre, constituting approximately 55.55% of the total TV series broadcasting during this period”.[17] Turkish television soap operas blend globalized consumerism and romantic love, transcending national boundaries, yet they also portray traditional family structures and gender roles, setting them apart from the American prototype—a characteristic referred to as the "Turkish touch".[21] Similarly, TV series, initially exported to the Middle East and Balkan countries, have gradually been sold to various countries, including the United States, turning the present-day TV industry into a massive globalized sector and representing a significant counterflow in the global circulation of cultural products.[22] Besides, “Turkish serials for television have typically been sold to international broadcasters in packages of 100 commer- cial hours per show. In another noteworthy development, TRT has been offering its original productions free of charge for international viewers, either dubbed or subtitled, on their YouTube platforms”.[23]

When Turkish exports initially gained popularity in the Middle East and Balkans, there was a prevailing belief that the resonance of content and characters with the cultural preferences of the audiences explained their widespread appeal.[24] However, as research indicates that transnational viewers in the Middle East find the stories, traditions, and family relations relatable to their own reality, it is noteworthy that Turkish TV exports have also garnered popularity in diverse regions such as Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.[24] Overall, Türkiye is implementing a new foreign policy, aimed at expanding connections beyond the Western world, grounded in acknowledging historical, cultural, and political ties with the MENA and Central Asia; and the Turkish government is actively striving to establish Türkiye as a global and regional leader.[25]



TRT offers online news services in Turkish and other languages.[26]



See also



  1. ^ Television across Europe - Turkey (PDF) (Report). EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 November 2005.
  2. ^ a b c "Radio and television in Turkey" (PDF). Directorate General of Press and Information. June 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Historical Background of radio and television broadcasting in Turkey". Archived from the original on 30 August 2006. Retrieved 23 August 2008.
  4. ^ "TRT'den yeni bir çocuk kanalı". www.trthaber.com (in Turkish). 10 May 2023. Archived from the original on 10 May 2023. Retrieved 10 May 2023.
  5. ^ @DIBAliErbas (9 May 2023). "Bugün çocuklarımızın zihin ve gönül dünyalarına güzel katkılar sunacağına inandığım kıymetli bir çalışmanın, @TRTDiyanetCocuk kanalımızın yayın hayatına başlamasının sevinç ve heyecanını hep birlikte yaşadık. @TRTDiyanetCocuk yarınlara dair umudumuza medar olan çocuklarımız başta olmak üzere milletimiz ve alem-i İslam için hayırlı olsun" (Tweet) (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 10 May 2023. Retrieved 10 May 2023 – via Twitter.
  6. ^ "1800 Çalışanın Emekli Olduğu TRT'de Neler Oluyor?". Amerika'nin Sesi | Voice of America - Turkish. 21 November 2018.
  7. ^ Burcu Karakaş (17 August 2018). "TRT'de tasfiye tedirginliği". Deutsche Welle (in Turkish). İstanbul. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018.
  8. ^ "TRT'den ihraç edilenlerin tam listesi". www.medyaloji.net. Archived from the original on 24 October 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Jailed and wanted Journalists in Turkey- Updated List".
  10. ^ S. Mustafa Önen; Nural İmik Tanyıldızı (September 2010). "The Administrative Supervision of Broadcasting of the Turkish Radio Television Corporation (TRT): Can the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Provide a Model?". Amme İdaresi Dergisi. 4 (3): 131.
  11. ^ "TRT World". TRT World. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  12. ^ "TRT'den dev adım". www.trtspor.com.tr.
  13. ^ Turkish Directorate General of Press and Information (2003). "Historical background of radio and television broadcasting in Turkey". Turkish Prime Minister's Office. Archived from the original on 30 August 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2006.
  14. ^ Nasuhi Güngör (2009). "Kurdish TRT". Zaman. Archived from the original on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  15. ^ "TRT Arapça Bugün Açılıyor". Trt.net.tr. 13 January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  16. ^ Caglar, Bayram (5 October 2018). "Reception of The Series Seksenler From The Perspective of Cultural Studies: Comments of The Audience on Social Media". Ajit-e Online Academic Journal of Information Technology. 9 (33): 159–192. doi:10.5824/1309-1581.2018.3.010.x. ISSN 1309-1581.
  17. ^ a b OKUMUŞ, M. Sami (30 June 2020). "1974'ten 2020'ye TRT Tarih Dizileri". Kocaeli Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi. 1 (39): 37–52. doi:10.35343/kosbed.738725. ISSN 1302-6658.
  18. ^ a b c Çağlan Bilsel, Özlem; Arda, Özlem (12 July 2021), "Cultural Codes Creating a Universal Context and Reception of The Audience: the Case Study of İstanbullu Geli̇n", Transnationalization Of Turkish Television Series, Istanbul University Press, pp. 83–111, doi:10.26650/b/ss18.2021.004.006, ISBN 978-605-07-0756-4, retrieved 24 April 2024
  19. ^ "Dizilerde Kadına Yönelik Erkek Şiddetiyle Mücadelenin Toplumsal İmgesi: Merhamet Dizisi Örneği", SOSYAL, İNSAN VE İDARİ BİLİMLERDE YENİLİKÇİ ÇALIŞMALAR, DUVAR PUBLISHING, 2023, doi:10.59287/siibyc.688, ISBN 978-625-6507-32-6, retrieved 24 April 2024
  20. ^ Kuyucu, Michael (Mihalis). Evaluation of the Economic and Cultural Effects of the Turkish Soap Operas and TV Series Exported to the World TVs in the Example of 'Muhteşem Yüzyıl' and Greece. SOCIOINT14 – International Conference on Social Sciences and Hummanities, 8-10 September 2014, Istanbul Turkey.
  21. ^ a b Larochelle, Dimitra (12 July 2021), ""They're Not That Much Different After All…". The Reception of Turkish Series by Greeks: Between Alterity and Proximity", Transnationalization Of Turkish Television Series, Istanbul University Press, pp. 67–81, doi:10.26650/b/ss18.2021.004.005, ISBN 978-605-07-0756-4, retrieved 24 April 2024
  22. ^ "Kültürün küresel karşı-akışına örnek olarak Türk dizileri ve Türk dizilerinin Makedonya'daki üniversite öğrencileri tarafından alımlanması | AVESİS". avesis.marmara.edu.tr. Retrieved 24 April 2024.
  23. ^ Berg, Miriam (13 June 2023). Turkish Drama Serials. University of Exeter Press. doi:10.47788/agll1722. ISBN 978-1-80413-042-1.
  24. ^ a b Kaptan, Yeşim; Algan, Ece, eds. (2020). Television in Turkey. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-46051-8. ISBN 978-3-030-46050-1.
  25. ^ Yesil, Bilge (April 2015). "Transnationalization of Turkish dramas: Exploring the convergence of local and global market imperatives". Global Media and Communication. 11 (1): 43–60. doi:10.1177/1742766515573274. ISSN 1742-7665.
  26. ^ "TRT Dış Yayınlar Dairesi Başkanlığı". www.trtvotworld.com. Retrieved 21 March 2021.