Alternative Media in Turkey

By: Yasemin Mina Ulubelen  

The limited independence of Turkish media and the increasing role of alternative media tools in the country is valuable for understanding the Turkish media structure. Media in Turkey was historically weak due to the pressures upon the freedom of the press and strongly built inter-relationships between the government and media owners. The problems of censorship, self-censorship, press freedom, and ownership structure of the media, killings of journalists are not new to Turkey. Experts and journalism associations have been discussing this issues for decades. With the recent incidents during ‘Occupy Gezi’ protests (2013), press freedom has received considerable critical attention. Turkish mainstream media channels were silenced about the protests, therefore ÇapulTV (, a non-profit tv channel, started broadcasting live from inside the Gezi Park. They define them self’s as the “media of the resistance” which is operated with volunteer broadcasters, reporters and did live interviews from the field. In particular, they were broadcasting user-generated content, created by the protesters. Based on interviews with members of ÇapulTV, and institutional observation, I present my research findings of the relationship between alternative media use in political polarization, if or how it can challenge the dominant media in terms of professional journalism practices. To examine this question, in particular, I discuss the professional, ideological, social and economic dynamics of ÇapulTV, as a successful alternative media formation and their reasoning to create their own media during the Gezi Park demonstrations.

Alternative Media, Protests, Censorship, Turkey, Çapultv, Activist Media
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Yasemin Mina Ulubelen

United Kingdom
United Kingdom