WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / November 27, 2019 / On November 27, 2019, MEMRI released a report by MEMRI Executive Director Steven Stalinsky and Director of MEMRI's Turkish Media Project A. Smith on Turkish President Erdoğan Continues To Crush Free Media In Turkey As He Expands Messaging Efforts In Washington, D.C. Through His English-Language TV Channel TRT World, Which Was Recently Given Media Award By Al-Qaeda Affiliate.
The report is an expanded report that appeared in The Washington Post titled "This Turkish TV network is Erdogan's propaganda arm. U.S. experts should stop appearing on it" on November 12, 2019.
According to the report, during Turkey's invasion of northeast Syria, which began on October 9, 2019, the Turkish government has used its English-language television channel, TRT World, as one of its main vehicles by which it spreads its message in the U.S. and abroad. In the days before and after the invasion started, TRT World produced many short pieces presenting the Turkish government's case for it. Many of the clips featured translations of current and former high-level Turkish government officials advocating for the invasion.
Other TRT World segments showed minority groups in Turkey and Syria voicing their support for the invasion, including Syrian refugees in Turkey and Syrian Turkmens, as well as Armenian, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Turkish Jewish religious leaders. While some reports showcased Turks' patriotic feelings over the invasion and support for the invasion from politicians, celebrities, and associations, other reports generally sought to justify it
The importance of TRT World to the Turkish government's public relations can be seen with the opening of its offices and expansion of its efforts in Washington, D.C. TRT World does for the Turkish government what Russia Today (RT) does for the Russian government, what Al-Jazeera TV does for the Qatari government, and what China Global Television Network (CGTN) does for the Chinese government.
The report will review TRT World's history, connections to the Turkish government, and role as President Erdoğan's "pet project." It will also look at how it is seen from within the Turkish government, its terrorism connections, and the relationship between the TRT network and the Turkish government, which is systematically suppressing free speech, censoring media, and imprisoning journalists at home.
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