What is Açık Radyo?
Açık Radyo (Open Radio), which went on air 12 years ago on 13 November, 1995, is a “regional” radio station, which broadcasts to the metropolitan Istanbul area and its environs. It is founded as a private company as required by the Turkish Law on Radio and TV, but nevertheless functions quite like a non-profit organization. (Actually, in 2003, the General Assembly of shareholders formally adopted a resolution to that effect.)
Açık Radyo is rather a collective, which has 92 partners holding almost equal shares where the shareholders own “share certificates”, which are composed of marked and numbered lithographs of the late distinguished painter and sculptor Abidin Dino. (The inscription on the back says: “This is to certify that the support you have provided for the founding of a free, independent, democratic, dignified, compassionate, and out-of-the-ordinary radio station would hopefully lead to the creation of other similar projects.”)
Açık Radyo is not dependent on any interest group or any capital group. It is also completely independent from any kind of “ideology” except the principles of pluralist democracy, the rule of law, and the protection and promotion of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms. Thus, it is an independent body. It can be considered as one of the rare independent institutions in the Turkish media, which is under increasing pressure from the concentration of ownership of financial and power centers.
“Open radio is open to all the sounds, colours and vibrations of the universe.”
During its existence of 12 years Açık Radyo has summoned the talents and efforts of 858 individuals from all walks of life and from a rich variety of professions – as well as those of a few unemployed – who contributed with more than 771 talk shows, music shows, etc.) to the general program of the radio station.
Currently, 158 programmers – ranging from age 10 to 75 – are contributing with more than 132 different programs to Açık Radyo each week. Together with the “guest speakers”, it can be said that every week more than 250 persons occupy the tiny studios and the narrow corridors of Açık Radyo, thus contributing to the general “uproar”.
People with various nationalities – American, British, Bulgarian, Canadian, Costa Rican, Dominican, French, German, Greek, Iranian, Lebanese, Spanish, Sudanese, etc., – have been coming from many parts of the world to take part in the Açık Radyo family of programs.
The outstanding common characteristic of the whole bunch of Açık Radyo programmers, producers, DJs, etc., is that they all “work” on a totally voluntary basis. That is to say, they are all volunteers, working without any salary or remuneration whatsoever. This is, as far as we can tell, a unique phenomenon.