On Thursday, Turkey's Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun resolutely responded to the United States' concern on Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council's (RTUK) encouragement for three international broadcasters to apply for an online broadcasting license, saying that the "U.S. does not get to criticize Turkey’s regulations."
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price expressed "concern" on Twitter about the RTUK's requirement, claiming that the decision to ask for licensing is "to expand government control over free press outlets by applying broadcasting requirements to Voice of America Turkish and other online outlets."
Altun responded on the microblogging platform and wrote, "Sovereignty and reciprocity are cornerstones of international relations."
"The U.S. does not get to criticize Turkey’s regulations whilst regulating the activities of foreign media organizations on American soil," he said. "The age of inequality in bilateral relations is over."
Previously, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic on Twitter said, "License application is not an obstacle for broadcasting, it is a mere technical requirement."
"Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) abides by relevant regulations for its activities in the U.S. Is that censorship? We expect the same from Voice of America Turkish and others," Bilgic added.
In line with the new regulation, online content providers should obtain a new license and comply with RTUK’s guidelines to continue broadcasting in Turkey.
Online streaming services Netflix and Amazon Prime Video obtained licenses in late 2020 by complying with new RTUK online broadcasting rules.