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RE: Turkish News Agencies

Released on 2012-03-12 16:00 GMT

Email-ID 280329
Date 2009-11-25 17:31:15
We have a Turkish partner already if you look at the sheet I sent out -
it's Hurriyet Daily News - we have a verbal agreement and are waiting to
get it signed. Kamran already is working with one of their journalists and
we met David Judson the editor in Chief when we were in Turkey so it's a
good relationship. Are you suggesting we should not go with this group? We
can re-evaluate since they haven't signed the agreement yet...but will
things change there again? Talk to Kamran about this too please.


From: Reva Bhalla []
Sent: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:58 AM
To: Meredith Friedman; George Friedman
Subject: Turkish News Agencies
Hi Meredith,
I've been working on figuring out the Turkish media landscape because
there are a ton of major changes underway. In a nutshell, the
Islamist-rooted AKP party has been buying up a bunch of media agencies to
clamp down on dissent and clip the military's wings. So, it's making the
major media group - Dogan group - bankrupt (very Russian of them). Media
in Turkey has lately become extremely political with Hurriyet putting out
columns on how the AKP is using these investigations to silence the
military and then other agencies owned by the Islamist group Gulen (hated
by the military) putting out pro-AKP, anti-military stories.
We definitely do not want to get caught in the crossfire of this media
battle. As I was discussing with George earlier, there's a ton of paranoia
in Turkey over all this and we can't afford to get branded as either
pro-AKP or pro-military. It'll hurt our source efforts either way.
So, I've asked Emre to list out all the major agencies and their political
biases (see below), and we've narrowed down the list to a few that are
mostly neutral and are quality news services in terms of breadth, depth
and access. We decided on Anatolian News Agency, NTVMSNBC. if we go with
Hurriyet or Taraf we would get good insight from the military perspective,
but we would need to keep the relationship covert.
Emre is returning to Turkey next week and can put us in touch with
whomever we need. He also has a few contacts within these agencies. I'm
going to sit down and discuss this more with him today to figure out who
exactly we need to talk to. Will keep you updated on this.
Begin forwarded message:

From: Emre Dogru
Date: November 25, 2009 9:43:31 AM CST
To: Middle East AOR
Subject: [MESA] Turkish News Agencies
Reply-To: Middle East AOR
Newspapers in English
Zaman / Zaman Daily News: Owned by Gulen, pro-AKP
Hurriyet Daily News: Owned by Dogan Media Group. anti-AKP and having
troubles due to tax fine.
World Bulletin: Islamist-Conservative, pro-AKP

Newspapers in Turkish
Dogan Media Group
Radikal: Social-democrat, mostly neutral
Hurriyet: Popular, anti-AKP
Milliyet: Popular, neutral, slightly anti-AKP
Taraf: Liberal-Democrat, anti-TSK (Army). Almost all documents we see in
media about TSK (coup strategies, weaknesses of TSK during PKK
operations etc.) are published by Taraf.
NTVMSNBC: Online newspaper owned by Dogus Media Group. Neutral.
Yeni Cag: Ultra-nationalist
Yeni Safak: pro-AKP. News director Fehmi Koru is media advisor of PM
Vakit: Islamist, but not pro-AKP because it is closer to banned Welfare
Party tradition. (Founders of AKP used to be members of Welfare Party.)
Its successor is Felicity Party but has no significant vote.
Firat News Agency: pro-Kurdish/PKK
Anatolian News Agency: Neutral.
Sabah: Liberal, owned by Calik Group (The Group that also owns "Genel
Enerji" that operates in N. Iraq)
Cumhuriyet: Strictly secular, anti-AKP. Its chief editor Mustafa Balbay
was investigated in Ergenekon Probe.

C. Emre Dogru
+1 512 226 3111