Turkish state broadcaster TRT World registers as foreign agent in United States

The world service of Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT has registered with the U.S. Justice Department as a foreign agent under legislation that requires individuals and institutions to declare their relationship to foreign governments, Al Monitor news site reported on Tuesday citing lobbying filings.

TRT World’s filing said it was supervised by a foreign organisation – namely Turkey’s state broadcast watchdog board RTÜK – and received funds from the Turkish public, though it denied ties to the Turkish government or any political parties.

It was signed by Tuncay Yürekli, TRT World’s Washington bureau chief, and stressed that the news channel operated as an autonomous legal entity with its own board of directors.

The 24-hour channel broadcasts news in English from offices in Washington D.C., London and Singapore.

Like many media institutions in Turkey, the channel has faced criticism for conforming closely to the government’s line, as has RTÜK, whose executive board is dominated by members of the ruling Justice and Development Party and its coalition partners.