COMING TOGETHER : KURDS & TURKS : AA readies for Kurdish wire-service

Anadolu Agency Board Chairman met with northern Iraqi regional administration premier Barzani in Erbil to introduce AA`s plans to launch Kurdish wire-service in September.

IRBIL – Kemal Ozturk, the Anadolu Agency Executive Board Chairman and Director General, met on Tuesday with Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the regional administration in north of Iraq, as AA plans to start Kurdish wire service in two dialects this September.

“We will open a large office in Irbil and start Kurdish wire-service in Kurmanji and Sorani dialects,” Ozturk said. “We want to transmit the events in the region to the whole world in an accurate and impartial manner.” The Kurdish news stream will go on test broadcast after the training of Kurdish news desk personnel is complete, with the full-fledged wire-service planned to be put in operation in September, AA`s Director General Ozturk said. “We will also cover the world events in Kurmanji and Sorani for the region,” Ozturk said. “We will write not on politics only, but on all aspects of life.” AA is the biggest news agency in Turkey and ranks among top ten in the world, with its news stream in five languages produced by 1200 staff working in 50 countries, he said. Ozturk said the agency, which is very powerful in the Middle East with its Arabic news desk, intends to “set up an alternative line to the world,” one that connects individual regions to the entire globe.

“That`s what we do in Bosnia,” he said.

Ozturk added that they understood the power of the media in the region, and expressed AA`s desire to meet their news-related needs.

“AA`s project will remove difficulties”

Barzani welcomed AA`s project and said they would provide all the support necessary.

“Our relations with Turkey are already very advanced in all fields,” Barzani said. “But this project will further strengthen the bonds between the two societies.” Difficulties that arise in news about the region being disseminated in a disorderly fashion would be easied thanks to AA`s wire-service in two Kurdish dialects, he said. Barzani saidAA had a great amount of experience and would make positive contributions to the country`s media sector, adding that he wanted press members working in the region to be trained in Turkey within the framework of cooperation agreements between the two countries.

“We appreciate AA`s presence”

AA Director General Ozturk also paid a visit to regional administration`s spokesman Safin Dizaei before meeting Barzani. Turkey`s Consul General in Irbil, Mehmet Aydin Selcen, and administration`s head of Turkey relations, Abdussalam Rasheed, also attended the meeting. Dizaei said they encountered many problems in the region in terms of relations with Turkey because the media was engaged in misinformation.

Relations were later set aright through diplomatic initiatives and are at a very good level today, he said. “The role of the media is critical. It is important for them to provide accurate information. We appreciate AA`s presence and activities. Everything will be much better with AA now,” Dizaei said. “Politicians make decisions, but it is the media who are tasked with the mission of informing the public correctly. We believe AA will do just that in the best way possible.”