Live from 17th Annual EU ? Turkey Conference of Journalists at Bilgi U.

Turkey's chief negotiatior Egemen Bağıs also attends the meeting
Turkey's chief negotiatior Egemen Bağıs also attends the meeting

All coverage is through Erkan’s filtering/paraphrasing. Please be careful in quoting. I strongly recommend to get actual transcripts instead of relying my interpretative quotation style. And I am not particularly good at concentrated listening!

(Participants in alphabetical order: Mehmet Altan (Star), Murat Belge (Taraf), Florence Biedermann (AFP, Fransa), Abdülhamit Bilici (Zaman / Cihan Haber Ajansı), Mehmet Ali Birand (Posta / Milliyet/ HDN / Kanal D), Eyüp Can (Referans), Cansu Çamlıbel (Hürriyet), Evangelos Demiris (Athens News Agency, Yunanistan), Konstanty Gebert (Gazeta Wyborcza, Polonya), Rolf Gustavsson (Svenska Dagbladet, İsveç), Emil Hurezeanu (Realitatea-Catavencu, Romanya), John Peet (The Economist, Birleşik Krallık), Bernardo de Miguel Renedo (Cinco Dias, İspanya) ve Michael Thumann (Die Zeit, Almanya).

This is post in progress.

Pierini: 60 European journalists are brought to Turkey and 60 Turkish ones sent this year.

Bağış: M.Pierini is the Good French after Pierini’s positive remarks towards TR’s membership – [He always does that (E.S)]
Turkey is member of every European organizations except the EU.
[Praise of Istanbul, multicultural etc. happening in every panel now:)]
He announces new hirings for ABGS and fellowships:)
Kaya: There is a new communication strategy prepared.

Kaya: How do you report Turkey in your country? and how do you report your country in Turkey?
First time in history Turkey developing good relations with neighbours; a sort of “soft power” it becomes.
And also the press freedom issue…

The Economist editor: I don’t know why previous Turkish governments followed the same foreign policy route taking place now.
I sympathize with Turkey [referring previous French presidents’ abuses towards UK before]
No one doubts Conservatives hate EU…. I believe incoming Conservative gov’t in UK should support Turkey [laughs…]

Journalist from Hürriyet: Referring to fans who were not let inside to the Turkey-Armenia game because they had Azeri flags. “Our objection is the political pressure: See, all major Western powers representatives were waiting behind the table when protocols were signed.” A symbolic posture as if forcing those sitting to sign.. [Ordinary nationalist Turkish citizens are in fact in a paranoid relation concerning major powers- nothing new in fact, E.S]

From Greece: New government is more sympathetic towards Turkey. More optimism now…

Zaman representative Abdülhamit Bilici draws a positive scene. “As far as I know no journalist in prison because of freedom of expression issues”  More progress in the last decades.

the French journalist: Sarkozy will not change his position [because he is an …. ]

There are many German journalist settled in Turkey. More than 20 already! Big coverage on Turkey in Germany happens currently. Conservative German gov’t anti-Turkey stance gets softer recently.

Mehmet Ali Birand
Mehmet Ali Birand

Mehmet Ali Birand: no enthusiasm on both sides. every side blames each other. We gave up reporting. Because there is nothing to report! Even Olli Rehn’s visit does not make news. We like him as a person but not a commissioner. Even Mr. Bağıs’ appointment is a signal. [It signifies the peripherialization of the issue, he implies]  [there are laughs] Mr. Birand is a big time gaffer: “In Schenge, Scandinavians visit other European countries, in our case- referring to new visa regulation with Iraq and Syria- Iranians and Syrians will visit us…. Scandinavians are beautiful..

Murat Belge
Murat Belge

Murat Belge: “I don’t agree with Mehmet. There is still quite a progress. I am not good at being a political correct person. …. “I can’t think of Europe with Ankara [laughs] -referring to Bağıs’ saying: I can’t think of Europe without Istanbul- ..Our regime was an oxymoron: mİlitary democracy we had. That’s (has to) change/changing. Mentality has to change. In a Gramsican way it is a trench war. Not war of manouvres. But there is change. step by step. And there is also Europeans who does not share the ideal of Europe such as Sarkozy. [he quotes from someone I could not get: ” I would never join a clup who is stupid enough to invite me

from Poland: I am happy that my President does not embarrass [as he had signed the Lisbon treaty]. We support Turkey as we do not want to be in the border for long:) Head of Catholic Church said we do not want those whom King S. defeated at Vienna..

Bağış: thanks Mr. Birand for admitting that they report about EU only to bash government:) [and he starts what gov’t done last year blah blah blah….] Yes, not today’s Ankara but future’s Ankara will become a member…  In the last 8 years, we haven’t passed a single law to limit media freedoms.

Mr. Birand does not answer the questions. His way of replying is not better than an ordinary citizen sitting in a coffeehouse and bulshitting about politics. [check the transripts, if i am wrong:)] He has lost his position as an journalistic authority in TR-EU relations…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.