Alive and Well: Post-Coup Amateur Radio in 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The site that originally made this claim has posted an update (at the bottom of the page) stating :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.

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4 thoughts on “Alive and Well: Post-Coup Amateur Radio in Turkey

    1. Thomas Post author

      Thanks, Richard.

      I’m reminded of the Gezi Park protests in 2013. VOT, at first, made no mention of the protests. After many days had passed, they began alluding to the protests in passing–buried deep within other news items. Here’s a post I made at the time:

      Turkey is still way down the Press Freedom Index–currently number 151 of 180. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.


  1. Richard Langley

    Although amateur radio may not be curtailed in Turkey after the failed coup, the German site is reporting that a number of private radio and TV stations have been shut down. Actually, some were shut down before the coup attempt.

    Manfred R. Reif on the DXLD Yahoo group provided this English summary:
    “After the failure of the military coup in Turkey the turkish Radio and TV Supreme Council RTÜK (Radyo ve Televizyon Üst Kurulu) withdrew licences of 24 Radio and TV stations. The following radio stations lost their licences: Kanal Türk Radyo, Burc FM, Samanyolu Haber Radyosu, Radio Mehtap, Berfin FM, Radyo Haber Ego, Dünya Radyo, Radyo Kure, Ezra Radyo, Samanyolu Haber Radyosu und Radyo Samanyolu Haber Anadolu (no names of TV stations were mentioned). The withdrawal of the licences was justified with their links to Mr. Gülen’s movement which is accused to stay behind the coup attempt and is described to be a ‘terrorist organization’.”

    Concerning Voice of Turkey broadcasts and the attempted coup, the first English-language VoT broadcast produced after the start of the attempted coup in Turkey, was the 12:30 UTC broadcast on 16 July 2016. A recording I made using the U. Twente SDR receiver can be found in the Shortwave Radio Audio Archives:
    The recording starts with the interval signal with time pips beginning at the 03m:00s mark. The news bulletin, following the sign-on announcement, is devoted to reports about the coup attempt. Regular programming follows.

  2. Mario

    Thanks Thomas for clearing this up, I heard initially from a ham friend that ham radio was suspended but glad that is not the case.


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