US online streaming service Netflix has applied for a license to continue operating in Turkey under new online broadcasting rules, the head of the country’s television watchdog said on Tuesday.
The Netflix Turkey office also confirmed it with a statement, adding that they are in talks with the authorities to tighten parental controls on their content.
“Our goal is effectively protecting our children from content that is not appropriate for their ages while providing services for our subscribers’ enjoyment,” the statement said.
Netflix has around 1.5 million subscribers in Turkey.
Turkey’s conservatives have been criticizing Netflix streams for being against the country’s “values.”
Turkey last month granted its radio and television watchdog sweeping oversight over all online content, including streaming platforms and online news outlets, in a move that raised concerns about possible censorship.
Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) President Ebubekir Şahin also said on Twitter that more than 600 institutions, including local streaming platforms Puhu TV and Blu TV, had applied for licenses.
The new regulation stipulates that content providers should secure a new license to continue operating in Turkey and comply with RTÜK guidelines.
If they fail to respect the guidelines, they will be given 30 days to change their content or face having their licenses suspended for three months or possibly canceled. The announcement last month did not specify what standards RTÜK would expect.
Critics have said the move would allow the government to tighten its grip on the Turkish media, which is largely owned or controlled by supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling party.