Arab media applauds Turkey’s regional role
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Some 200 journalist participated in the Turkish-Arab Media Forum in Istanbul. AA photoThe winds of the Arab Spring have blown over the Turkish-Arab Media Forum, which brought together around 200 journalists from the area to Istanbul, again demonstrating Turkey’s critical role in the region.
The theme of the forum taking place in the Conrad Hotel was “media, new opportunities and possibilities in the axis of change and continuity,” with the Arab Spring influencing much of the agenda.” “It is our wish to see brotherly Arab countries change in the direction of justice and to enjoy an atmosphere of peace and tranquility instead of chaos,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said in his opening address. Turkey, which is often recognized as a “Muslim secular democracy model” for transforming regimes in the region, was congratulated by the participants while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his regional politics were praised. The secretary-general of Arab Journalists’ Union, Makram Mohamad Ahmad, emphasized Erdoğan’s words on “the necessity of Egypt’s Christians participating in politics,” made during his Cairo visit. “Only if [Islamic political parties] take the AKP [Justice and Development Party] as an example, they could achieve” their goals, he said. “Turkey reinvented the Arab world, however, Arabs reinvented Turkey with the Arab Spring,” said Refika Fejjari, a TV producer from Tunisia. “All the world is watching Turkey with eyes wide open,” said Ghani Oukazi from Algerian daily Le Quotidien d’Oran.
Al Jazeera representatives said they were proud to be an “accelerator” of the Arab Spring. “If there were no Al Jazeera, the Arab Spring may have been realized 15 years late,” he said. But there was a common complaint of a “monopoly of Western media sources” for the changes in the region. Turkey seems to be in a bid to break up this “monopoly”. “In addition to the Arabic TRT, the Anatolia news agency will begin publishing news in Arabic. The [agency] will open offices in all Arab states,” Arınç said. The event was organized by Turkey’s Directorate General of Press and Information and will conclude today.