Netflix applies for Turkish licence under strict new regulatory regime

Netflix is among media groups applying for a licence to continue to operate in Turkey under new media regulations, according to Ebubekir Sahin, the head of media regulator RTÜK.

Sahin tweeted that the authority had received applications from over 600 organisations including Netflix, Blu TV, Puhu TV, Turkcell, Vodafone, Digitürk and Tivibù after rumours spread on Twitter that Netflix planned to withdraw from the market.

Turkey recently announced sweeping changes to regulation of online content, giving new powers to the watchdog in a move that was seen by many as heralding a crackdown on freedom of expression by the government.

Under the new regulations, media organsiations will be forced to respect new content guidelines. Those failing to comply may have their licences suspended or ultimately cancelled.

Content providers will also have to inform audiences about the content of programmes in advance by voiceover or via a system of onscreen classification symbols.

Netflix provides a localised service in Turkey and began making Turkish originals two years ago.

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