Popular History Review
As Oguz Atay tells in “A Novel of A Scientist”: “During the events of the 1960, ITU Radio broadcasting at that time was closed. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Inan gave that speech on 2 june, 1960, for the radio resuming liberty:
Istanbul Technical University Radio, following being closed for a month, restarts its broadcasts today. Us, as Technical University, and all the Turkish youth are very happy about and proud of it.
This is because, this period of closing, is nothing like an ordinary radio stopping its broadcasting for a while for any reason. This had been an incarnation of the efforts to hush up science and technics and to silence the youth. The great poet, Namik Kemal, cried out years ago, as, ‘Is it possible to destroy liberty with tyranny and injustice / Try hard, if you can, to take out the comprehension from mankind’, had he not?”
In 1945, Istanbul Technical University Radio had been re-established. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Santur and Assist. Prof. Adnan Ataman, Assist. Prof. Tahsin Saya, together with their asistants and students, install the radio antenna on the roof of Gumussuyu building. The same year, in a very short while, with a 200 watts transmitter, by classical music short wave broadcasts from 42 metres – later on 47 metres -, they reach a great amount of listeners from all around the country, Europe and even from Avustralia. Letters from listeners begin to flow. A listener from Diyarbakir ends his letter with those words: “ We also please desire to listen to Beethoven’s chorale symphony no.9”. All the letters are answered one by one. The subscribed listeners are sent first weekly, and later monthly program reviews. In between the programs, competitions are made, questions on classical music are asked. Half an hour programs on Turkish classical music also start two days a week. Concerts of artists like Arif Sami Toker, Safiye Ayla, Munir Nureddin Selcuk, Zeki Muren start to be broadcast. Those unforgettable artists of that period gives away their recordings to ITU Radio as presents. In his letter dating from 9 February 1953, clerk corporal Fahrettin Baydar from Eyup, who had been on his military service in Erzincan at that time, requests the songs “Separation a terrible word” and “Every night in a foreign land” for his family living in Istanbul.
The opening music of the radio is Mozart’s ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ known as the ‘Turkish March’. Records from the most important concert halls of Istanbul, live broadcasts from basketball and football matches start to take place. Writers such as Hifzi Topuz, Sevket Rado, Adalet Cimcoz and Adalet Agaoglu encourage Technical University from their columns in the newspapers.
The first concerts of the 1953-54 season in Taksim Municipality Night Club are Suna Kan-Idil Biret recitals and the ‘Child Prodigies’ are listened from ITU Radio. Sports fans even wish to listen to Galatasaray-Fenerbahce basketball and football matches from ITU Radio. ITU Radio slowly replace Istanbul and Ankara Radios in their listeners’ hearts. In Varlik Magazine’s 1 February 1954 issue, in the article named “What About Radyo” it says: “... Let us not forget the Technical University’s service to at least Istanbul with its modest station. These people has nothing but a collection of a few limited number of recordings. However, by the help of these recordings, they give so beautiful concerts that it replaced Istanbul Radio in houses of many intellectuals. We expect their broadcasting hours to be increased from two to four, to five.”
In 1957 the radio first moves to Taskisla building and later, in 1963, together with ITU Television, to Macka Faculty of Mines. Recordings and tapes flow all over to the radio as a flood of donations from the most important recording companies in the world, from consulates and cultural centers. During those years, they make up a large collection of the selected works and an archive with some serious cataloguing. Listeners’ requests, program texts, newspaper articles and press reviews are classified according to years and are protected until today.
In 1971, by the monopoly of Radio and Television broadcasting being given to TRT, regular broadcasts are ended and until 1980 radio continues its broadasts in its structure periodically. By ITU Rector Prof. Dr. Gulsun Saglamer – the Vice Chancellor then – pioneering, after a period of two years preparation, it starts its regular broadcasts in 29 October 1995 from Ayazaga campus. The existing Radio-TV Law that foresees that a public organization University can not broadcast, becomes a block over the radio’s broadcasts from the athmosphere and in 1999 April its transmitter stops working. ITU Radio was closed in 1960, 1971, 1980… always in an “intervening period”. Today, it’s broadcasts continue on the internet. It waits for the change in the law to take its place among the radio waves and to be reunited with its listeners.