Turkey enters the global media stage with TRT World

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a gala in Ankara celebrating Turkey's English language public broadcaster.

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

TRT World aims to compete with other major global news networks by telling the news from a new perspective.

Updated Nov 17, 2016

Media representatives, lawmakers and celebrities gathered at the Turkish Presidential Complex in Ankara on Tuesday to celebrate Turkey's first international news platform broadcasting in English – TRT World.

TRT World went online in August 2015 and has since grown into a network publishing breaking and in-depth news reports from around the globe.

Its diverse staff has grown to number over 600 men and women representing 36 nationalities in four broadcasting centres in London, Singapore, Washington, and its headquarters in Istanbul. It is a branch of the Turkish Radio Television Corporation, Turkey's publicly-funded broadcaster, which was founded in 1964. 

Speaking at the event, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hopes that Turkey's first English-language media venture would "open a window to the world." 

"TRT World's mission is admirable in a time where international media are basically identical. The presenters and channels may be different, but editing and language are monotonous and interchangeable. I find TRT World's mission to retell stories in a new language, to offer the microphone to those who aren't allowed to speak, to turn the camera on voices which aren't seen," Erdogan said.

"TRT World will not be the official bulletin of the state," Erdogan said. "That's not what we want — on the contrary, we want this channel to set a high standard in newsmaking and tell the world about our country, our people."

TRT World's senior anchors Alican Ayanlar and Andrea Sanke hosted the gala, held at the presidential complex in Ankara.

Noting the channel has garnered a global audience covering major news stories from Syria to Libya to the United States, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said, "TRT World's competition is not other TRT channels or other channels in Turkey — its competitors are channels that broadcast in English and are significant players in the world scene. We came to a significant point in a year, but in coming years we will be one of the most successful media organisations in the world." 

Although the TRT World channel and website have been broadcasting for 15 months, the official launch was kept on hold.

TRT Deputy Director-General Ibrahim Eren said TRT World "will offer Turkey's point of view on current events." 

"Rather than promoting Turkey, we aim to show the audience how we interpret the current affairs," Eren said.