Newsprint fell sharply in Turkey in 2018

Newspaper and magazine circulation in Turkey in 2018 marked a 17.6 decline from the previous year, according to data released Thursday by the Turkish Statistical Institute (Tüik).

Circulation has been in decline since 2014, when it was 2.1 billion annually, falling to 1.66 billion in 2017 and 1.36 billion last year, Tüik figures showed. 

The number of newspapers and magazines published dropped 2.6 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, marking an 18 percent decline since 2014, when Turkey had 2,944 publications. 

More than 80 percent (81.6 percent) of the total circulation was national newspapers, even though more than 90 percent (91.3) of the newspapers published in 2018 were local, Tüik said. 

According to the institution, 64.3 percent of the magazines published were national, accounting for 75.6 percent of the total annual magazine circulation.

Many in Turkey have questioned the circulation figures of national newspapers. Abdurrahman Dilipak, an Islamist columnist, said in February that the real sales figures were considerably lower than announced circulation numbers.

Dilipak said that Turkey’s flagship newspaper Hürriyet’s official daily circulation number was 275,000, while its daily sales were at 60,000. Orhan Bursalı, a columnist of the opposition daily Cumhuriyet, said last week that Hürriyet’s sales fell to 30,000, citing unnamed resources. Hürriyet was bought by the government-affiliated Demirören group last year. 

The human rights organisation Freedom House said in June that some 150 news outlets had been closed by the government since a 2016 failed coup attempt. Innovative online platforms have been expanding their reach, according to the organisation.