January 29, 2023

Bayrak Radio & Television since 1963



We are just a few days away from celebrating the 49th Year Anniversary of those early days when the Turkish Cypriots’ voice called out to theTRNC Flag rest of the world for help. In those days it had a very small transmission range, today however  it has a very loud voice which goes out worldwide and the Turkish Cypriots’ voice can no longer be ignored. So how did it all come about?

Abusing the constitutional rights of the Cyprus Republic, the Greek Cypriots tried to take over the island in 1963. During those troubled times Bayrak Radio rose as the voice of the Cypriot Fighters on December 25th 1963.

Bayrak Radio started its first transmissions with a 250 metre range, in a small garage where the electricity power was supplied by a couple of car batteries, this range was extended to all over the island by February 1964.

Despite its very limited facilities, Bayrak Radio always supported Turkish Cypriots’ rights against the Greek attacks until the Peace Operation in 1974.  Afterwards the structural reforms in Bayrak Radio provided the opportunity for black and white television Bayrak  Radio and Televisiontransmissions on 19th July 1976.  FM transmissions started on 4th December 1977 and colour television transmissions on 1st July 1979.

The first powerful link between Ankara and Lefkoşa was established on 6th July 1979.  After the foundation of  the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983, Bayrak Radio became an independent association under a new law and changed its name, becoming the Bayrak Radio & Television Corporation.  Two television and five radio channels are on air today:

BRT1 TV and BRT2 TV (since 1997)

Bayrak Radio 1                                   The voice of the Turkish Cypriots

Bayrak International                            Foreign language transmissions

Bayrak FM                                          The voice of the youth

Bayrak Classics                                  For the classic fans.

Bayrak Radio 5                                   Local music transmissions

Bayrak News                                      Turkish and foreign language news channel

Aside from the two television and five radio channels the Internet website www.brtk.net also carries the voice of the Turkish Cypriots and the views of North Cyprus to the whole world.

On 20th June 1998, BRT started satellite transmissions under the name of BRT INT, reaching the audience living in Turkey, Middle East and Europe. Taking the advantage of satellite technology BRT started digital radio and television transmissions in March 2000.  At the time only one television and two radio channels reached the areas covered by TURKSAT satellites.

Keeping in mind that Bayrak Radio, the voice of the Turkish Cypriots, went on air in 1963 in a small garage, today all transmissions are broadcast from modern studios with computer automation and up-to-date broadcasting technologies.

For the future, I will try to bring you more of the latest news from BRT.

By Can Gazi

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