Turkey has given three international broadcasters a deadline of 72 hours to apply for local licences or be taken off the air.
“Deutsche Welle, Voice of America and Euronews have been given a deadline of 72 hours by the RTÜK. They must apply for a broadcast licence within that period or face a broadcast ban,” said Okan Konuralp, a member of the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Twitter.
At issue are the broadcasters’ websites that have drawn the attention of the authorities because they also feature video news. Such websites have become increasingly popular in Turkey as the government places restrictions on local news outlets.
If the broadcasters don’t apply for a licence the regulator has the right to go to court and get the website closed down.
RTÜK is expected to publish a decision in the next 7 to 10 days.
The decision is likely to be a political one because the majority of the RTÜK’s board members are from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party.
RTÜK has been responsible for the regulation of online content since 2018. Streaming platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have successfully obtained licences.