Event for Greek and Turkish journalists held in Istanbul

“Views of Istanbul Hellenism in the Modern Greek and Turkish Press” was the topic of an event organised by the Press and Communication Office of the Greek Consulate in Istanbul, with the participation of Greek and Turkish journalists.

More specifically, the panel consisted of Murat Yetkin, director of Hurriyet Daily News, Mihalis Psilos, president and general director of the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, Özcan Tikit, Habertürk’s Foreign News Director, ANA correspondent Andreas Robopoulos, Mete Çubukçu, program producer and correspondent of NTV, and Mihalis Vasiliadis, director of the Istanbul-based Greek newspaper Apogevmatini.

They discussed the changes in covering the news, extroversion and the changes in Turkish society, with the speakers referring to the heterogeneity of views in the press, media coverage of the activities of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fanar and developments in the treatment of “incendiary” ‘issues, such as the ‘Istanbul pogrom’ targeting Greeks in September 1955.

The meeting, which was also attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, kicked off with a brief greeting from the General Consul of Greece Evangelos Sekeris. Then, the head of the Press Office of the Greek consulate, A. Stamatiou, read a greeting from the Greek Secretary General of Information and Communication Lefteris Kretsos.

The president of the Athens-Macedonian News Agency Mihalis Psilos stressed that the event is being held at a particularly sensitive time, when the role of the press on both sides of the Aegean may prove to be critical.

“The Athens-Macedonian News Agency has been on the front line of issues affecting the Greek diaspora for 113 years,” he said, noting that the ANA’s correspondent Andreas Robopoulos transmitted the thoughts and concerns of Turkey’s Greek community to the entire world, via the ANA. “We will continue to do so. Our sole concern to unite and to strengthen the friendship of the two peoples,” he said.

Murat Yetkin and Robopoulos, on their part, agreed that the Greek minority should be approached as equal citizens, on the basis of their individual rights and freedoms. Only then, the participants noted, will the – admittedly improved – approach to the minority become more consistent and objective.