Minority–run papers to get official support
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily NewsA decision to allow Turkey’s minority–run newspapers to take a share of official bulletins and announcements that authorities pay publications to print has come into effect, with the new amendment published in the Official Gazette Feb. 28.
“Our goal in [introducing] this regulation is to show that minority newspapers are no different from other journals. Official institutions can now indiscriminately advertise in these papers as well,” said Mehmet Atalay, the head of Turkey’s Press Bulletin Authority (BİK).
Newspapers run by minorities, as defined by the Treaty of Lausanne, will now be able to print official advertisements if they issue a written request, according to the Anatolia news agency.
“[Minority–run journals] fulfil an important duty with regard to the [role of the] Turkish Republic as a bridge. We believe the path to living in solidarity and sharing together goes through making use of the same opportunities,” Atalay said.
However, the chief editor of the Greek daily Apoyevmatini, Mihalis Vasiliadis, said that printing official bulletins would not alone solve their problems: “A newspaper whose problems can be solved solely through the printing of official bulletins would not be a newspaper; it would not stand,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Vasiliadis also expressed skepticism regarding the conditions under which such bulletins would be made available to minority–run papers, but also thanked Atalay for his efforts: “My struggle has born fruit. I am happy to have assumed leadership. Other sister jounals will also take advantage of this aid,” he said.
BİK also issued a special grant totalling 250,000 Turkish Liras to six minority–run newspapers last year, including the Armenian dailies Jamang and Marmara, the Armenian weekly Agos, the Greek dailies Apoyevmatini and Ýho, and the Jewish weekly Þalom