Netflix, Amazon Prime get Turkish internet broadcast licenses

Turkey’s state broadcasting regulator has awarded licences to global online streaming platforms Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, RTÜK president Ebubekir Şahin said on Thursday.

The companies have “fulfilled their obligations, just like their domestic peers”, he said on Twitter.

RTÜK has the authority to supervise online streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon and local services Blu TV and Puhu TV, following a regulation that came into force in August 2019. Such firms are required to obtain a license from RTÜK in order to broadcast.

International tech companies also had until Nov. 2 to abide by a new social media law that calls on them to appoint a local representative and store domestic user data in Turkey. The legislation envisages fines of up to $1.5 million, as well as bandwidth restrictions and advertising bans, for any failure to comply.

Şahin said late last month that RTÜK and Netflix maintained good relations and that the platform would comply with the new law, according to Turkish news website Gerçek Gündem.

Earlier this year, Netflix and RTÜK tussled over a locally produced, coming-of-age comedy drama that featured a storyline centred around a gay high school student. RTÜK had threatened to ban Netflix if it refused to censor the homosexual theme, leading to negotiations.