ECPR General Conference, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria, 22 - 26 August 2022, pp.1-30
ECPR General Conference
22 – 26 August 2022, University of Innsbruck
Date, Time and Location
Thursday 16:15 - 18:00 (25/08/2022)
How Political Power and Capital Captures a Regulatory Authority: Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council
Özgün Akduran Erol
Independent regulatory authorities are expected to act as apolitical agents to prevent market failures in the sector they regulate. However, according to political signal theory, regulatory authorities cannot escape the interventions and control of the political power. In addition, according to capture theory, regulation is designed and operated for the benefit of dominant capital groups in the sector. This article applies both theories to the case of Turkey’s radio and TV sector. Based on, document analysis, and interviews, we claim that the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council is a unique case of a supposedly independent authority being captured by both the political power and dominant capitalist groups in the sector by limiting its administrative and financial autonomy. Our findings show that the close relations between capital groups and important political figures, which have been clear since the the sector was first liberalized, have helped these groups gain a privileged position in Turkey’s media sector.