Tag Archives: Turkey

Ibrahim Eren appointed director general of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following news via TRT World:

Turkey’s cabinet appointed Eren, who had served as deputy director general of TRT for four years.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday approved the appointment of Ibrahim Eren as the 17th director general (DG) of public broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT).

Turkey’s cabinet appointed Eren, who had been serving as deputy DG of TRT for four years and had established the country’s first international English-language news channel, TRT World.

“It’s an honour that I’m appointed as the director general to one of the most prestigious media institutions that has a 53-year history. I will, God willing, work hard to achieve success as the DG. I am committed to working even harder in this new role compared to when I was the deputy DG, serving under the roof of the same institution, ” Eren said.[…]

Continue reading at TRT World.

Alive and Well: Post-Coup Amateur Radio in Turkey

Turkey

Many thanks to a number of Post readers who shared a link to this news item which claims that the government of Turkey revoked 3213 ham radio licenses after the recent coup attempt.

I was reluctant to post this story because I couldn’t find any other news source substantiating the claim.

Turns out, the story is completely inaccurate.

Aziz SASA (TA1E) President of TRAC (IARU-Member Society of Turkey) writes:

TRAC-logo-TurkeyThere is no ham radio licence [sic] revoked in Turkey and ham radio operators are operating normally.

The reports on ham radio licenses being revoked by The Supreme Council of Radio and Television (RTUK) are unconfirmed and speculative. RTUK is not a regulatory body of ham radio. We believe that it is against ham radio ethic to share unconfirmed information, especially in this sensitive time. We would like to remind every ham radio operator to avoid sharing unconfirmed news and speculation.

In addition, I can confirm that I’ve heard a number of Turkish amateur radio operators on the air since the coup attempt.

The site that originally made this claim has posted an update (at the bottom of the page) stating :

It’s [sic] look like this news has been labelled as “FAKE” – Yesterday we gave this news for first after a quick phone chat with ham radio op. In Istanbul. Apparently there was no interdiction to use HF radio

This blogger should consider adding the update at the top of the post and amending the title to reflect reality. I suspect he’s reluctant to do so due to the increased traffic this misleading post has brought him.

On a side note: I happened to be listening to (and recording) the Voice of Turkey during the coup attempt. Of course, the news had been pre-recorded earlier that day and almost completely focused on the Nice attack. There wasn’t even an interruption of service. One I’m back from travels, I’ll post this recording on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive.

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Turkey, English language service

Turkey

For your listening pleasure: the Voice of Turkey English language service.

This program was recorded on June 7, 2015, starting around 2205 UTC on 9830 kHz.  I started recording the program a few minutes after the top of the hour when a digital transmission on the same frequency finally went off air. I made this recording with the TitanSDR Pro hooked up to my horizontal delta loop antenna.

You will actually hear a few seconds of the digital broadcast at the very beginning of the recording. Click here to download the recording as an MP3, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

Shortwave Radio Recordings: Voice of Turkey

Gezi protest in Ankara  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Gezi protest in Ankara (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

A few days ago, I posted a recording of the Voice of Turkey that noticeably lacked coverage of the Gezi Park protests.

Friday, I recorded VOT’s English language broadcast and was surprised to find that they actually mentioned the protests (admittedly, without it’s due weight) in several news items. I’m very curious how future VOT broadcasts will cover news of yesterday’s riots in Istanbul as police cleared crowds of protesters with water cannons and tear gas.

Click here to download the full recording, or simply listen via the embedded player below:

The Gezi Park Protests: don’t look to the Voice of Turkey for information

On shortwave, sometimes it’s what’s not heard that speaks volumes.

Gezi protest in K?z?lay Square, Ankara  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Gezi protest in K?z?lay Square, Ankara (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Turkey has been in the world headlines now for well over a week. In case you’re not up-to-date, here’s a summary of what has happened:

On May 28, 2013,  about fifty environmentalists led a small protest in Istanbul to oppose the replacement of Taksim Gezi Park with a reconstruction of the Taksim Military Barracks.  The protests escalated when the group occupying the park was attacked with water cannons and tear gas by the Turkish police. This event led to riots, which were soon widespread; the protests, meanwhile, broadened their scope into full-fledged anti-government demonstrations across the country and even into the Turkish diaspora across the globe.

Yesterday, I turned to the Voice of Turkey on shortwave radio to hear about the active protests currently ongoing throughout the country…

But what did I hear? The only mention I heard of the Gezi Park protests in the Voice of Turkey’s English language service were in a passing Turkish press report on the reaction to the protests by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry. The item, moreover, was completely buried in their broadcast and certainly not something upon which they elaborated in the least (listen, beginning at 12:50 below).

I’ve always loved listening to the Voice of Turkey, but events like this remind me of the simple fact that many international broadcasters are still very much the mouthpieces of their governments.

Click to enlarge (Source: Reporters Without Borders)

Click to enlarge (Source: Reporters Without Borders)

Of course, Turkey certainly would not win an award for press freedom; not even close. Reporters Without Borders list Turkey as a country with a “Difficult Situation” with regards to press freedoms, ranking them 154th out of 179 countries in their 2013 Press Freedom Index. To put this in perspective, Finland and the Netherlands occupy the top two spots as models of press freedom, the USA is number 32, and North Korea and Eritrea occupy the bottom spots (numbers 178 and 179, respectively) obviously countries without press freedoms.

I’d like to think that the news readers at the Voice of Turkey would rather give this news the attention it deserves, or at least offer the Turkish government’s perspective on the demonstrations. Instead, what we heard was…nothing.  And we heard that loud and clear.

Indeed, the world is paying attention to the lack of news coming out of Turkey right now. Time Magazine posted this article article yesterday, which begins:

As epic clashes between anti-government protesters and riot police turned downtown Istanbul into a battle zone last weekend, the country’s two main news channels had, well, not much to report. One ran a documentary on penguins. The other, a cooking show. To many Turks, their silence was symptomatic of the self-censorship Turkey’s media have practiced under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s tightfisted 10-year rule. Penguin T-shirts, penguin jokes and penguin costumes now abound — the bird has become a symbol of protesters’ frustration with the mainstream media.

VoiceOfTurkeyOne of the most amazing things about shortwave radio is that by really listening, you can hear the unfiltered voices of regional broadcasters, the clandestine organizations, and the media representatives of their respective countries.

If this story had broken twenty years ago, moreover, I would have heard it as a headline from every respected international broadcaster. Then, upon turning to the in-country “news source,” as I attempted to do yesterday when I tuned in the Voice of Turkey and was subjected to a total lack of news, I would therefore be instantly made aware of what the Turkish government didn’t want me to hear.

Unfortunately I feel we’ve lost a bit of this comparative news consumption, not just because of the exodus of many trusted radio broadcasters from the field, but because we’ve been trained to consume news in (palatable) bites. Our attention spans and interest seem to have diminished to the point that we now often rely on our news sources to interpret for us.  A sad fact…especially considering politically-evolving countries like Turkey still need our attention, interest, and thoughtful support.

Listen to the same Voice of Turkey broadcast I heard yesterday, by downloading the off-air recording or by listening via the embedded player below: