Media partnership to be promoted between Pakistan and Turkey
Turkey and Pakistan are facing same challenges as for as integration, democratisation and media freedom are concerned.
These views were expressed by a leading Turkish journalist Abdulhamit Bilici at a discussion organised jointly by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Rumi Forum and the National Press Club on Wednesday, according to a press release.
“Although Turkey succeeded in putting generals behind bars, it still has to sort out the problem of media freedom,” he said, responding to a question about Ankara being the world’s top jailer of journalists.
In his keynote speech, Bilici, director general of the Cihan News Agency and a columnist for Zaman and Today’s Zaman, said, “Though we all believe that Pakistan and Turkey are two countries but one nation, this sentiment is neither reflected in business cooperation nor in the media sector.”
He emphasised that the two countries’ media should not rely on western news sources to find out about the situation in each other’s countries. “Pakistani media organisations must reach out to their Turkish counterparts and vice-versa,” Bilici said, adding, “I’m here to find partners for my media groups.” He said media houses from Turkey and Pakistan should work together.
The Bilici-led Cihan News Agency has 50 video journalists and branch offices around the globe, offering services in five international languages in 81 cities in Turkey.
Speaking of terrorism, he expressed heartfelt condolences and added that Turkey understands Pakistan’s pain as it has lost 40,000 young men and women in terrorism over the past three decades.
Bilici referred to 32 Pak-Turk Foundation’s schools in Pakistan as a model of bilateral cooperation in which 750 teachers, including 140 Turk nationals, are imparting education to 7,500 students across the country.
PFUJ President Afzal Butt said, “This may be belated but it’s the beginning of a sincere media partnership with the Turks and we’ll fully cooperate with Turkish media organisations.” Rumi Forum chairman Suat Erguvan gave an introduction to the institute’s literary and intercultural activities to promote dialogue between people of the two countries.