Information and Communication Technologies Authority President Ömer Fatih Sayan participated in the WSIS Forum 17, organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organization cooperation of UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP in Geneva.

Within the framework of the main theme of the Forum for a week is the "Information and Knowledge Societies for Sustainable Development Goals- Role of Information and Information Society 2030 Sustainable Development Goals” 150 separate sessions were held on the measures to be taken to overcome the digital divide, ranging from cyber security and privacy, to artificial intelligence, cultural diversity and access from multilingualism to the IoT. The Forum also included the Ministerial Round Table, mutual policy dialogues and networking activities.


BTK President Sayan made an opening speech on the panel titled Inclusive Business Models for ICT Companies in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” hosted by Turk Telekom on 12 June 2017.

Sayan talked about the catalyst role of ICT in achieving sustainable development goals, new job opportunities revealed by ICT, emerging risks and need of an international cooperation to deal with them, place of ICT in Turkey's vision of 2023 and developments in terms of ICT in our country.

Describing the level of ICT in Turkey Sayan said, “In order to fulfill promised benefits of ICT in Turkey, we are aware of these needs and we are not only encouraging rapid diffusion of the electronic communication technologies but also keeping an eye on the sector to reach the pace of this rapid diffusion in the regulatory sense. Thanks to Turkish firms’ efforts, number of fiber internet connections exceeds 2 million in the first quarter of 2017. Overall number of broadband internet connections reached 64.3 million consisting 10.8 million fixed broadband connections and 53.5 million mobile broadband connections. We have a double-digit growth in fiber and cable broadband connections, namely 15.8% and 18.1% year on year.”

Referring to the number of competitions and increasing subscribers in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector, Sayan stated, “In general, Turkish Electronic Communications Services Market is open for competition and foreign direct investment. There are 446 firms with 785 authorizations in the market. Total quarterly net sales of Türk Telekom and mobile network operators is approximately worth 9.3 billion ₺, while other operators’ total net sales is approximately worth 2.9 billion ₺ by the end of March 2017. Total investments of Türk Telekom and mobile network operators is around 1.1 billion ₺. Moreover, Turkey has been witnessing the quick spread in mobile phone across the globe for the last 30 years. In case of Turkey by the end of March 2017, there are 75,7 million mobile subscriptions corresponding to 95% penetration rate. After launching of 4.5G services on 1 April 2016, number of 4.5G subscribers has reached to 56.4 million, while the number of 3G subscribers falls to 15.4 million by the end of March 2017. At the same date, there were approximately 4.1 million M2M subscribers.”

The panel, which is also mentioned in the project of internet literacy education, which is an example of global business models covering the scope of Turk Telekom's partnership with United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Istanbul Private Sector and Development Center (IICPSD) and Habitat Association; while Tiina Turunen from IICPSD undertook the moderation of the project, Paul Doany, CEO of Turk Telekom, Professor of Koç University. Zeynep Gürhan Canlı and Habitat Association General Coordinator Başak Saral took part as a panelist.


The WSIS Forum, which is held every year and is a high-level event, evaluates the work done by the countries under the WSIS Action Plan and the WSIS Awards are presented in this context. Turkcell with its "Hello Hope” application won the grand prize in the category of "Cultural Diversity and Identity, Language Diversity and Local Content" in the WSIS Prize, which is organized under the coordination of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The mobile application "Hello Hope" is a project designed to be open to all operators' customers who have been waiting for the Syrian refugees to make their lives easier and to provide their adaptation to Turkey.

The projects, which are finalists in 18 different categories under the WSIS Awards, are declared champions of the respective categories. Among the champions of the public organization, NGO and private sector members, the Turkish Ministry of Justice took its place with the project titled "The Program for the Calculation of Workers Claims" from Turkey.

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