Erkan's live from the World Bank/ IMF meetings

A live coverage from the inside and a post to be updated continously- updates just below the photo

A new turn in Erkan's Field Diary history. Receiving official invitation to press room...
A new turn in Erkan's Field Diary history. Receiving official invitation to press room...

The Meetings has an officially blog-style site for photos, videos and other informative stuff.

Information about the World Bank meetings and events

In the opening talk, Mr. Erdoğan also hinted at protests outside underlining the fact that global economic life is hard and protests are not totally unjustified. Protests in Taksim, very close to meeting center. I have now a post on protest roundup.  And all other media roundup on meetings updated in yet another post.

Glad to make it to the press room with his Lamb of God sweatshirt, unshaved face and hangover mood; not stopped by police for being a potential protester.
Policemen around were very polite maybe because of I did conform the image of an ordinary journalist. Private security guards are less polite by the way. Towards the evening, I had one or two occasions where I had to threaten back because of the latters’ rudeness. (But of course, policemen vs. protesters is another case)
Corporate queue in the morning
Corporate queue in the morning

I did not have much hope that I could get the badge, as a journalist friend of mine (mistakenly) claimed the night before that the deadline already passed. But I got it. No problem. There was a huge queue in front of the main gate but it flowed fast. It was all corporate people, all in suits. I felt really isolated but did not care much. I have to admit that corporate women have a fetishistic attraction but I got my senses back after a little bit of disorientation. Accented speaking snobby Turkish business-people angered me a little bit and their making fun of speakers who cannot speak English fluently was particularly irritating.

Hanging out with Milliyet crew. Lovely people.
Serkan is life-long friend and we bump into each other from time to time. I sit with him and Beste and worked with them all day; meeting other journalists, observing their news-making and blogging myself.

Conference room where the plenary session took place. I loved it. As Sameer Vasta said:

The Annual Meetings will be held in the newly-built Istanbul Congress Centre, a state-of-the-art conference facility that opened two weeks ago. The Meetings will be the first major event to be hosted at the new facility.

Because of security reasons, wireless connections were disabled, which irritated me a little and I had to either listen to speakers or read stuff I keep in my bag.  There were also no plugs for our laptops in the seats reserved journalists. In fact, many journalists were taking notes with paper and pen and only a few them were using laptops. In the mean time, PM Erdoğan’s pronunciation of “Adam Smith” [adam simit] made people laugh and referred all day. If I could talk to PM Erdoğan, I would advise him to be more careful (!) That’s interesting for me. At one point I began to think intensively what I was doing there but as we moved to the fantastic Press Room, I began to enjoy my time.

I loved the Press Room. Well, I love journalism any way:)

The Press Room compensated what lacked in the conference room. Exciting to see so many working journalists all over the world.

Sameer Vasta
Sameer Vasta

And I met Sameer Vasta who is behind my invitation (Mr. Sameer currently works as the social media strategist for the World Bank)  We could chat a little bit. He told me that this was the first time that in this kind of World Bank meeting, bloggers were invited. He told me 4 were invited and I was the only one who showed up. This is an experiment and if it works, they intend to invite more bloggers in future conferences. But it seems that it will remain to be very limited experiment here in Istanbul. Why they invited? He says because this is the new wave in journalism and they are interested in getting new media action in future…

A Conference Center with a View- Bosphorus
A Conference Center with a View- Bosphorus

As I said Istanbul Congress Center is great but it is located in a very busy district in Istanbul. Such kind of meetings mean a disruption of city life in particular places. Well, what can I say, Turks like to live condensed. A cultural habit, I guess. Oh by the way, this huge place does not have space for prayers. One has to go out and walk a while to find the space. There could easily be one in that huge place. Anyway, AKP people will fix it I guess:)

Cocktail time!

3 thousand people were invited to the evening coctail. I realized it could be difficult to ask for credits or debt for my personal account in that crowded scene. And journalists were herded into a gated space.  I could not live with this and I left soon after the cocktail began.

Welcome desk at the cocktail
Welcome desk at the cocktail

This was the most cheesy part. When I was leaving I realized two welcome desks offering Turkish delight to new comers. My god, these youths’ outfit is interesting. Emphasis on locality. But which locality. What is the concept here?


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