Communication, which is as old as human history, can be carried out in a number various forms and techniques. The development of communication runs parallel to the development of civilization. Istanbul, a city with a fortunate and distinctive location, at a control point over the Bosphorus, stands at the juncture point for news sent between East and West, North and South. As the capital city of empires, it also became the center of communication networks that were established by various means and technologies. Information about events that took place in any corner of the state would first be sent to Istanbul; then the news would spread into the provincial areas and other places. Thus, Istanbul was the center of communication during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, while during the Turkish Republic communication was carried out via different technological means and by a number of institutions.

In this chapter, which deals with communication during the period of the Turkish Republic, two phenomena will be taken into consideration: First the communication institutions that were inherited from the Ottoman State, but which ceased to be official centers, rather being reduced to the level of a directorate, and, secondly the postal services, telegraph, telex, fax, radio, television and news agencies; all of these are to be examined under the title of “Communication in Istanbul.” This topic shows us that although the official center of those institutions moved to Ankara, Istanbul maintained its primacy in following and applying technology and developments in the Republican Era as well. Another factor that needs to be considered is that technological improvements in the field of communication have directly, continuously and significantly affected social life, daily habits, fashion, art and trade in the city.

The Postal Organization and Services

During the First World War, the Ministry of Postal, Telegraph and Telephone Services devoted all 511 employees into the service of the army in order to keep the ministry open continuously, thus providing regular and nonstop communication between Istanbul and the fronts. Foreign post offices that had been operating in the country for many years were shut down at the beginning of the war on October 1, 1914. On October 26, the public was informed that letters would be censored from that time on and censorship commissions were established. There were twenty-nine Muslims and eighteen non-Muslims on the censorship commission in Istanbul, while the Galata censorship commission contained nine Muslims and five non-Muslims; the Beyoğlu censorship commission included three Armenians. Thus, in Istanbul there was a grand total of sixty-four commissioners.1

After the Mudros Armistice was signed on October 30, 1918, the Ministry of Ottoman Postal, Telegraph and Telephone Services made a series of stamps with a surcharge “in Commemoration of the Armistice.” On the thirteen-piece series of stamps the statement “In Commemoration of the Armistice, 30 Teşrinevvel 1334” was written; the design of the inscription was by the engraver Ütücüyan. These stamps started to be sold in post offices after January 12, 1919. The changing political structure and the ongoing persecution of the Unionists, who had lost power, in Istanbul were echoed in the Ministry of Ottoman Postal, Telegraph and Telephone Services. Even though Yusuf Franko Pasha, who had occupied the post of minister for two months, left his seat to İbrahim Ethem Bey (Dırvana) on February 25, 1919, the latter was only able to remain in this post for a week. Mehmet Ali Bey, the former mayor of Üsküdar, was appointed as minister on March 4, 1919, and was the last one to occupy this post. Indeed, with the appointment of Mehmet Ali Bey as the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Ottoman Postal, Telegraph and Telephone Services was transformed into a general directorate operating under the Ministry of Internal Affairs; Refik Halid (Karay) was appointed as the first director on April 12, 1919.2

After the Mudros Armistice, British, French and Italian post offices started to operate again. In addition, Poland and Romania, two countries that had not had post offices in Istanbul before, opened post offices, and Greece also opened an office, establishing its own postal services in the territory it occupied.3 Meanwhile, at the beginning of 1919, postal service employees went on strike due to the low wages; they also established the Association of Mutual Assistance between the Employees of the Postal and Telegraph Services. During the Armistice it became apparent that communication by telegraph was important for the organization of the national independence forces; during this process the government in Istanbul took precautions to make sure that the national independence movement did not have telegraph. However, despite all the constraints and precautions taken by the General Directorate of the Postal, Telephone and Telegraph Services (PTT), some nationalist employees of the postal services allowed the National Movement to make use of this means of communication. As a result of the invasion of Istanbul, the General Directorate of the PTT was rendered ineffective on March 16, 1920; the nationalist employees working in Istanbul and Anatolia joined the National Movement4 and established the new administration of the PTT under the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Ankara. In the early years this administration functioned as the General Directorate of PTT.5

In the 1920 budget of the TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly), 1,427,898 lira was reserved for the PTT Directorate. Reserving a greater amount of the budget for the PTT than for some other ministries shows how much importance parliament attached to the PTT and how much it was needed. In the 1921 budget 1,505,891 lira was reserved, with 2,129,657 lira being reserved in 1922 for the General Directorate of the PTT. Thus, in 1920 2.2 percent, in 1921 1.8 percent and in 1922 2.1 percent of the general budget was reserved for the General Directorate of the PTT.6

With the Treaty of Lausanne, the validity of the agreements signed with the Universal Postal System during the Ottoman period was confirmed and the tariffs and regulations decided upon at the International Telegraph Conferences were accepted. Article 110 of the Treaty of Lausanne stipulated an agreement between Romania and Turkey for laying telegraph cable between Istanbul and Constanta; it was stipulated that the problem be taken into arbitration if an agreement could not be reached. In Article 111, Turkey gave up its rights over the cable lines outside its borders, while in Article 112 Turkey secured rights over the lines within the borders. Article 113 stipulated that foreign post offices were to be entirely shut down.7

After Istanbul lost its position as the capital of Turkey, the General Directorate of the PTT in Istanbul also lost this characteristic, becoming one of thirteen head directorates in Turkey. The PTT signed contracts with Air France and Aero Espresso Italiana in 1926, and in 1930 with Lufthansa Airlines, thus initiating flights and international air postal flights between Istanbul and Paris, Istanbul and Rome and Istanbul and Berlin.8 The head directorate of the PTT in Edirne was shut down in 1931 and connected to Istanbul. The first Statute of Organization of the PTT was enacted on June 1, 1933, with the PTT becoming a general directorate under the Ministry of Public Works that was allocated a special budget.9

1- A postal and telegraph building in Istanbul in the early periods of Republic (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Kültür A.Ş.)

Regular air transport between Ankara and Istanbul began on May 25, 1936. With an increase in the quantity of domestic routes, the delivery of mail by air increased. In 1937 the Istanbul Telephone Directorate became an independent unit under the General Directorate;10 the provincial organization was restructured and the head directorates were closed down. In their place, city directorates, associated with the General Directorate, were established, including one in Istanbul. The PTT became a public enterprise in 1953 and a state-owned enterprise in 1984;11 in 1994 it was divided into two, namely the General Directorate of Postal Management and Turkish Telecommunication Inc. In 2000, the name of the General Directorate of Postal Management was changed to the Turkish Republic General Directorate of Postal and Telegraph Organization (PTT). The status of Turkish Telecommunication as a public institution was abrogated, being changed into a corporation functioning under private law.12

2- The machine for charging money that started to be used in PTT in 1952 (Istanbul PTT Museum)

Istanbul has continued to be the most important and active city in postal services. In fact, in 1980 there was a total of 209 registered PTT offices and agents; 112 were main offices, and 97 were branches. The quantity of domestic post coming to Istanbul in 1980 was 39,053,727, constituting 22.5 percent of the total mail in Turkey; the quantity of foreign post coming in and going out of Istanbul was 39,053,727, constituting 43 percent of the entire foreign post in Turkey. Until 1985, the PTT in Istanbul was a regional directorship, including the cities of Kocaeli and Sakarya, with 7,045 personnel. The income for 1980 was 2,234,000 TL and its expenses were 2,086,000 TL. The quantity of central and provincial branches, excluding agents, was increased to 272 in 1994; in 1999 the total number of main offices and branches was 356, along with 1,100 distributors. Istanbul has always maintained its priority in PTT services. In fact, new systems such as Express Mail Services (APS), telephone, telex and fax all first started to be used in Istanbul.13

Package and Money Orders

3- Telegraph machines (Istanbul PTT Museum)

After September 1, 1941, the PTT started to send money and accept package delivery by air mail; money orders of up to eight liras were paid at the door. After July 3, 1942, the PTT started to pay money orders of up to twenty-five liras at the door. Starting from August 14, 1941 the PTT started to deliver the packages and letters that were worth up to eight liras to homes.14 The post office for packages, which belonged to the State Railways, had an office in Sirkeci by 1957; in the following year this office moved and services were offered from customs warehouses located between Fındıklı and Karaköy. In the early 1960s the PTT moved to the storage facility of the Denizcilik Bank in Tophane. The package post office operated from this location until November 23, 1992 and then moved to the building behind the Postal Processing Center in Bayrampaşa. The Istanbul package post office, one of the three places that directly receives and sends international mail, is the domestic package center for all of Turkey; both packages sent to Istanbul addresses and those sent to the addresses in the provinces arrive here. One third of all packages sent to Turkey are processed at this center.15 In 1980, 22.3 percent of all packages coming to Turkey first came to Istanbul; as a result, the city was naturally the preferred location for courier and shipping companies. As of 2001, the quantity of registered courier and shipping companies was 3,719.

4- Telephone (Istanbul PTT Museum)


After the proclamation of the republic, a series of innovations were made; in this context The Statute of Telegraph and Telephone was enacted on February 4, 1924. Powerful wireless transmitter, telegraph and telephone switchboards began to be constructed in 1925 in Istanbul and Ankara to meet the needs of international communication; these were finished in 1927. In 1929, the quantity of telegraphs between Istanbul and Berlin numbered 89,532, while those between Istanbul and Vienna were 43,976. Telegraphs between Istanbul and London numbered 12,708 and those between Istanbul and Paris were as many as 2038, while between Ankara, Istanbul and Rome there were 22,718 telegraphs.16 In the early years of the Republic the length of general telegraph lines measured 13,000 km. and the length of single cycle telegraph lines was more than 27,000 km.17 At the end of the 1980s, telegraph was still the fastest way to communicate in writing.


Telex started to be used as a method of telecommunication by the Anatolia Agency after 1938. This system, which was used manually at the PTT in 1950, started to be used by other public and private organizations after 1951. Telex was put into use for international communication in 1966; from this date on larger corporations in particular, including banks, news agencies and newspapers benefited from it. The invention of fax, however, significantly reduced the usage of telegraph and telex.18 In 1999 there were 4,456 telex subscribers; this quantity has gradually dropped after the invention of the fax.


5- A local post and telegraph center in Istanbul during the Republic period <br>(Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Kültür A.Ş.)

The fax system as introduced by the PTT in 1984, being described as “taking a picture of a letter and sending it to the addressee at the speed of light.” The system was referred to as office fax, telefax, or simply the fax. The fax system, which became widespread after the 1990s, is a system which can transmit exactly writing or pictures to the addressee. As it is more practical and easier for telecommunication, the fax spread rapidly and reduced the usage of telegraph and telex. As of 2000 there were 37,705 fax subscribers in Istanbul. Even though the number of subscribers in Turkey started to fall after 1997, a slight increase can be seen in the quantity of subscribers in Istanbul.


Telephones started to become widespread in Istanbul after the Second Constitutional Period. After the First World War, the government confiscated Dersaadet Telephone Inc., which had been established in 1911 and which possessed the only telephone privileges in Istanbul, administering the telephone system with its own employees. The vice-minister of the Postal, Telephone, and Telegraph Ministry, Ahmed Şükrü Bey, the head of the parliament, Hacı Adil Bey, the head of the State Civil Service Bureau, Nazım Bey, the director of publications, Hikmet Bey, and other high ranking state officials, the PTT directorate, branch manager, and journalists all participated in the program which was held on the first floor in the Telephone Directorate’s building in Tahtakale on March 14, 1917; this marked the fourth anniversary of Dersaadet Inc. being open to public use and the third anniversary of its public management. The general director of the PTT delivered a speech at this ceremony, stating that even though they had hesitantly started a difficult system like the telephone, bringing experts from Hungary, the employees had learned the system quickly and there was no longer any need for the services of the Hungarian experts; as a result, he thanked his employees. Expressing that they were unable to meet requests for telephones, Fahri Bey stated that this was based on difficulties experienced due to a shortages of machinery, supplies and cables, which in turn had been caused by the war. At that time at most 2,750 conversations a day could be made from the switchboards located in fifteen regions of Istanbul. As the war had increased the demand for telephones, the number of subscribers exceeded 5,000, despite the shortages in machinery, supplies, personnel and funds. The Dersaadet Telephone Company, however, was not able to provide quality services and was experiencing many problems. The complaints about a system that had been working as well as its counterparts in Europe a few years earlier now began to increase.19

6- An employee working at telephone switchboard (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Kültür A.Ş.)

7- The workers who switch lines at telephone switchboard (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Kültür A.Ş.)

8- Telephone switchboard in Istanbul (Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Kültür A.Ş.)

After the Mudros Armistice, the Ottoman government returned the Dersaadet Telephone Company to its original owners on April 1, 1919. During the Armistice years, switchboards at Bebek, Bakırköy, Yesilköy, Kandilli, Erenköy, Büyükada, Tarabya, Paşabahçe, Kartal and Heybeliada were opened.20 Establishing a certain system for the telephone during the Republican Era became possible due to the Telegraph and Telephone Act No. 406. With this act, all rights to install and operate telephone lines were granted to the General Directorate of the Postal, Telegraph and Telephone Services. Firstly, as by 1926 there was no regular telephone infrastructure in Turkey other than that in Istanbul, in order to improve the system, part of the official Istanbul network was moved to Ankara. Upon Atatürk’s orders an automatic telephone switchboard was established in Ankara by the Ericson Company on September 15, 1926. The first long-distance call in Turkey was made between Istanbul and Ankara on July 1, 1928. Soon after this, a line between Istanbul and İzmir was laid.21

9- Telephone switchboard used in Istanbul PTT (Istanbul PTT Museum)

10- The clock calculating the price of intercity phone calls (Istanbul PTT Museum)

The first phone call between Turkey and Europe was made between Istanbul and Sophia on October 18, 1931. In 1931 and 1932 the equipment in the Istanbul (Tahtakale), Beyoğlu, and Kadıköy PTT centers were connected to the automatic system of the Standart Electric Company, which was known as the “Rotating Cycle System” (Strowger). Thus, subsidiary switchboards in Istanbul became semi-automatic.22 On June 10, 1936 all the Istanbul telephone lines and switchboards of the Dersaadet Telephone Company were purchased by PTT along with their operating licenses. At that time there were 10,700 subscribers in Istanbul. In 1939 the Ericson Company established a 2,000-line switchboard in Şişli. The capacity of this switchboard was increased to 5,000 lines in 1943 and 8,000 lines in 1950. In 1950 the capacity of Kadıköy switchboard was increased to 1,200. Between 1932 and 1947 the multiline transmission system was adopted and two single channel air multiplexers were added between Istanbul and Ankara. After 1948 a contract was signed with the LMT Company and this company was ordered to increase the capacity of the Tahtakale switchboard to 10,000 lines, the Beyoğlu switchboard to 7,600, and the Kadıköy switchboard to 2,400 lines. In 1948 it was estimated that the Ericson Company would be able to add 13,500 more lines to Istanbul switchboard; however only 3,000 lines could be added to the Kadıköy switchboard. Thus, 1,200 lines of the 2,400-line capacity switchboard were directed to Erenköy; after the establishment of the 7B Rotary switchboard in Erenköy, the 1,200-line switchboard was transferred to Beyoğlu. The 3,000 lines installed in Kadıköy by Ericson were transferred to Anatolia in 1952 and a total of 37,500 lines were added to the 7B Rotary system in Kadıköy. Between 1954 and 1959, 5,000 lines were added to Fatih, 1,600 lines to Bakırköy, 1,300 lines to Yeşilköy, 6,800 lines to Şişli, 4,000 lines to Tahtakale, 5,000 lines to Beyoğlu, 6,000 lines to Kadıköy, 100 lines to Büyükada, and 600 each to Heybeliada and Kartal. After some manual switchboards were converted to automatic ones, the capacity of the automatic lines in Istanbul increased to 65,600. In 1967 the capacity of the telephone switchboard reached 88,800 lines. The capacity of the automatic switchboards in Şişli, Bakırköy, and Yeşilköy were improved and the manual switchboards in Paşabahçe, Kandilli, Büyükdere, Tarabya, and Pendik were upgraded to automatic ones.23

Compared to the average telephone density, which in Germany in 1969 was 18.7 percent and in France was 15 percent, throughout Turkey this density was 1.33 percent; a breakdown of this gives us 7.9 percent in Istanbul, 7.3 percent in Ankara, and 6.3 percent in İzmir.24 On August 28, 1976, Istanbul could make long distance calls, being assigned the area code 11; in 1979 fully automatic international calls were possible from the city. In 1980 there were 7,055 personnel working at the Istanbul PTT General Directorate; the directorate had an intra-city cable network capacity of 631,179, and an automatic telephone switchboard capacity of 388,000. The number of paying telephone subscribers was 335,840, while the number of free subscribers was 1,498. 575,949 people were waiting for a telephone line. In addition, there were 2,187 public telephones positioned at different locations in Istanbul.25

In March, 1982 public telephones that worked with tokens were installed in large centers, particularly in Istanbul. In the same year an automatic (01) unknown-numbers service was transferred to domestically produced VISAs (wireless screened positions), thus increasing speed and quality in the services provided.26 In December 1984, the first digital system began to be used in Turkey, just three years after its invention. After 1986, mobile phones and caller IDs started to be used. The ground station of a satellite provided connection with mobile satellites. In July, 1987 the management of the telephone lines was divided into two sections in Istanbul: Anatolian and European. In December 1990, with the installation of the first fiber-optic international connection, known as EMOS 1, a new era began in international communication in Istanbul and Turkey. The most significant of these developments was the TURKSAT satellite, which started to operate in 1994.27 As of June 2000, throughout Turkey 18,326,654 people were subscribers; in Istanbul this number was 3,922,479. In 1996 Türkiye Ulusal Internet Altyapı Ağı – TURNET (Turkey National Internet Infrastructure Network) came into service. On April 27, 1998, GSM licenses were granted to the Turkcell and Telsim companies for 25 years.


The March 20, 1923 issue of the Tevhid-i Efkar newspaper that Rüştü [Uzel] Bey, one of the instructors at the Darülmuallimin (Teachers’ Training College), had been conducting experiments on “wireless telephones” and that the zeybek tunes played on a ney in the conference hall could be clearly heard in the Darülfünun (College of Sciences). This experiment is considered to be the first in Turkish radiobroadcasting.28 Radio Istanbul was established in September 1926. Wireless radio licenses were given to İş Bank, Anatolian Agency, and the company belonging to Falih Rıfkı [Atay], Cemal Hüsnü [Taray] and Sedat Nuri [İleri], Türk Telsiz Telefon Anonim Şirketi - TTTAŞ. Meanwhile, the construction of a radio transmitter in Osmaniye (Hasdal) was completed. As an experiment and a demonstration, the first radio broadcast was made in the first days of March 1927 via a receiver placed in front of Sirkeci Main Post Office. The broadcast was a music program prepared and presented by some artists in a temporary studio located next to the Osmaniye transmitter. The first planned radio broadcast in Istanbul began on May 6, 1927. Istanbul Radio, the studio of which was on the top floor of the Main Post Office, broadcast over 185 KHz. Istanbul Radio, the broadcasts of which were frequently abandoned due to financial problems, and which was only able to broadcast for 4.5 hours in the evenings, after telegraph services had been completed, was unable to successfully broadcast during the TTTAŞ period. In 1930, music constituted 85 percent of its programs, while the rest consisted of news programs from the Anatolian Agency and German, French, and Turkish lessons prepared by Ministry of Education. The highly-criticized Turkish music broadcast, which had begun after 1930, was banned in 1934; this ban continued for two years. During this period, music programs were reduced and talk shows increased.29 The first Turkish radio news program, called “vocal radio newspaper,” was broadcast in 1935, followed by the first children’s program and the first live broadcast of a football game, between Fenerbahçe and Austria WAC.

The number of registered radio receivers in Istanbul in 1935 was 3,244, which constituted 52.3 percent of all radio receivers in Turkey. 9 percent of the receivers in Istanbul were owned by foreign nationals, with 40 percent belonging to the minorities. Almost all of the receivers were in the wealthy districts of Istanbul.30 In August 1945 the number of radio receivers in Istanbul increased to 62,90031 and in 1949 this figure reached 98,502, constituting 36.5 percent of all radios in Turkey.

The importance of radio was expressed during the fourth convention of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) in 1935. On the orders of the Ministry of Public Works, the Head Directorate of Istanbul PTT took over Istanbul Radio on September 4, 1936. The first radio program prepared by the PTT Management was broadcast on September 9, 1936 and thus the period of state-owned radio broadcasting began. However, the powerful broadcasting of Ankara Radio led to Istanbul Radio being neglected. After the reestablishment of Istanbul Radio under the management of General Directorate of Press and Publishing in 1943, it started broadcasting from the top floor of Galatasaray Post Office; however, the station was not successful and broadcasting was suspended in 1944.

In 1945 the foundations of the Istanbul Radio building in Harbiye were laid down. The Istanbul Radio Building, a joint project of the architect Doğan Erginbaş, Ömer Güney and İsmail Utkular, was opened by President İsmet İnönü on June 1, 1949. Istanbul Radio began broadcasting on 701 KHz medium waveband and with 150 kW power. Until 1964, when all radio stations came under the control of TRT (Turkish Radio Television), an autonomous institution, this station maintained its characteristic as a city radio. During this period Istanbul Radio broadcasted for 1.5 hours in the morning, 3 hours at noon, and 7 hours in the evening, making a total of 11.5 hours a day. The following year, the broadcasting hours went up to 17.5.32 The first private independent radio in Istanbul was Istanbul Technical University Radio, which in September 1946 only broadcast classical music. In 1950, Istanbul Technical School Radio began broadcasting, to be followed in 1951 by Istanbul University Faculty of Science Radio, and in 1954 Police Radio. In the early 1990s private commercial radio broadcasting began. In 1994 the number of radio stations was around 50. According to March 2008 data the number of private radio stations reThe first television broadcast was made from Istanbul Technical University, Department of Electrics as a class project and experiment on the suggestion of Professor Mustafa Santur, using equipment brought from the Netherlands. The first broadcast was made on July 9, 1952, in front of the press at the Taşkışla building of Istanbul Technical University; it was watched from receivers at the Gümüşsuyu conference hall. From that day on every Friday between 5 and 8, the television broadcast from Istanbul Technical University was watched by the people of Istanbul. At that time there were ten TV receivers in Istanbul. Foreign movies and concerts were broadcasted from a simple studio in these broadcasts, which continued until 1963. After December 5, 1963 broadcasts began to be made from studios in Maçka. On March 6, 1970 when TRT began broadcasting, ITU-TV stopped broadcasting. At that time, the range of broadcasting was about 20–30 km and programs could sometimes be watched from Yalova and Şile. As a result of a contract signed with ITU-TV, TRT Istanbul TV began to broadcast using ITU-TV’s transmitters after August 30, 1971. A strong transmitter on Çamlıca Hill was put into service on August 30, 1972. Istanbul TV was only able to have its own studio in 1981 when the facilities were opened on the edges of Ortaköy; these are still being used today.

In 1986 there were about 1,950,000 television receivers in Istanbul, corresponding to 22.9 percent of all receivers in Turkey. When broadcasting of color programs started in 1984, at a time when TRT was planning to open a second channel, the infrastructure of Istanbul TV was seen as being adequate for this; TRT-2 began its broadcasting life on October 6, 1986. Istanbul TV provided both broadcasting and programs for many TRT channels. Starting on March 1, 1990, Turkey became acquainted with private commercial television channels; the administrative offices of about 50 private national and 50 private local television stations are located in Istanbul.33

News Agencies

News agencies are one of the most important elements of communication in the contemporary world. In the second half of the nineteenth century the French Havas and British Reuters news agencies opened offices in Istanbul. In the 1890s the German Wolff and the Austrian Correspondenz Bureau joined those news agencies. In addition to such foreign news agencies, the first national news agency was Ottoman Telegraph Agency, which opened in Istanbul in 1911. The title of this agency was soon changed to Ottoman National Telegraph Agency. However, after World War I, this news agency had to be closed. Even though Havas and Reuters agencies started functioning again during the invasion of Istanbul, they had to limit their functions to economic bulletins; they stopped operating after the Anatolian Agency was established.

After World War II, Agence France Presse, Reuters, the American news agencies Associated Press and United Press, the Italian ANSA, the Russian TASS and the German DPA opened offices in Istanbul. However, due to the inadequacy of the communication infrastructure, Istanbul lost the opportunity to become the Near Eastern center for these news agencies, which moved to Athens. After 1950 private news agencies started to open with support from the private sector. The Turkish News Agency and ANKA started to provide news for domestic and foreign centers. After this, newspapers started to set up their own news agencies and Hürriyet News Agency (HHA), Milliyet News Agency (MNA), İhlas News Agency, and Cihan News Agency gained primacy as news agencies.34

Even though Istanbul ceased to be the capital during the Republican Period, it maintained its role as Turkey’s cultural, art, economic and financial center, due to the advantages provided by its historical experience and geographical location. Moreover, Istanbul is the most crowded city in Turkey and continues to be the center for national and international communication. In the twentieth century and at the beginning of the twenty-first century Istanbul has maintained its characteristic as the Turkish city in which communication types, such as telegraph, mail, package, telex, fax, and telephone, are used most extensively. Istanbul, which has made significant progress in respect to news agencies, indispensable components of communication, is a location for foreign new agencies and the center of many private news agencies.


1 İstiklal Harbimizde PTT, Ankara: PTT Genel Müdürlüğü, 2009, p. 36.

2 Tanju Demir, Türkiye’de Posta Telgraf ve Telefon Teşkilatının Tarihsel Gelişimi (1840-1920), Ankara: PTT Genel Müdürlüğü, 2005, p. 204, in Refik Halid’s memories, “My five-year benefits were superior to twenty-five years of seniority. I was appointed to one of the highest and most important positions of the government; to a position of an ex-ministry, but more influential than the ministers!” (Minelbab İlelmihrab, Istanbul: İnkılap Kitabevi, 2009, p. 167).

3 Demir, Türkiye’de Posta, p. 214.

4 Demir, Türkiye’de Posta, pp. 205-211.

5 In accordance with the Statute of Organization, No. 2208 dated May 23, 1933, the PTT was associated with the Ministry of Public Works; with Statute No. 3613 dated May 31, 1939 it was associated with the Ministry of Transportation.

6 İstiklal Harbimizde PTT, p. 230.

7 İstiklal Harbimizde PTT, p. 340.

8 Geçmişten Günümüze Posta, Ankara: PTT Genel Müdürlüğü, 2007, p. 237.

9 “PTT”, DBİst.A, vol. 6, p. 290.

10 Geçmişten Günümüze Posta, p. 224.

11 Bekir Kocadaş, “İletişim Sosyolojisi Açısından Cumhuriyet Dönemi Ulaştırma-Haberleşme Kurumlarının Fonksiyonları ve Önemi”, TDA, 2006, no. 163, p. 69.

12 Muhteşem Kaynak, “Türkiye’de Ulaştırma ve Haberleşmenin Gelişimi”, Türkiye Ekonomisi Sektörel Analizi, ed. A. Şahinöz, Ankara İmaj Yayınevi, 2001, p. 196.

13 “PTT”, DBİst.A, VI, 290; “Istanbul”, YA, vol. 6, p. 3991.

14 Geçmişten Günümüze Posta, pp. 238-240.

15 R. Sertaç Kayserilioğlu ve Cemil Kuntay, “Postaneler”, DBİst.A, vol. 6, 282.

16 “Telgraf”, DBİst.A, vol. 6, 244.

17 Geçmişten Günümüze Posta, p. 247-249.

18 Geçmişten Günümüze Posta, p. 249.

19 İstiklal Harbimizde PTT, p. 41.

20 Ayşe Hür, “Telefon”, DBİst.A, vol. 6, 242.

21 Aliye Önay, “Türkiye’de Telefon Teşkilatının Kuruluşu,” Çağını Yakalayan Osmanlı, ed. E. Ihsanoglu and M. Kacar, Istanbul İslam Tarih, Sanat ve Kültür Araştırma Merkezi, 1995, p. 134.

22 Geçmişten Günümüze Posta, p. 254.

23 Hür, “Telefon”, VII, p. 242.

24 “Haberleşme”, Türkiye Ansiklopedisi (1923-73), Istanbul: Kaynak Kitaplar, 1974, vol. 2, p. 609.

25 “İstanbul”, YA, vol. 6, p. 3991.

26 Yakup Gümrükçü, “Türkiye’de PTT Hizmetleri”, CDTA, vol. 10, 2775.

27 Hür, “Telefon”, vol. 7, 242.

28 Özden Cankaya, “Radyo-Televizyon”, Istanbul Ansiklopedisi, prepared by Aslı Bekdik, Istanbul: NTV Yayınları, 2010, p. 775.

29 Yasemin Doğaner, “Atatürk Döneminde Radyo”, Türkler, ed. Hasan Celal Güzel et. al., Ankara: Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, 2002, vol. 18, p. 378; Bülent Aksoy, “Cumhuriyet Döneminde Devlet Radyosunun Türk Musikisi Üzerine Etkileri”, Türkler, ed. Hasan Celal Güzel, et. al., Ankara Ankara: Yeni Türkiye Yayınları, 2002, vol. 18, pp. 329-337.

30 Tülay Aksan, “Radyo”, DBİst.A, vol. 6, 294.

31 Radyo Dergisi, 1946, vol. 5, no. 51, p. 15.

32 Özden Çankaya, Bir Kitle İletişim Kurumunun Tarihi TRT 1927-2000, Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2003; Çankaya, “Radyo-Televiyon”, p. 775.

33 Çankaya, “Radyo-Televizyon”, pp. 777-778.

34 Orhan Koloğlu, “Haber Ajansları”, DBİst.A, vol. 3, p. 465.

This article was translated from Turkish version of History of Istanbul with some editions to be published in a digitalized form in 2019.