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Anadolu Agency's war journalism training kicks off in Turkish capital

12-day training to include both theoretical, practical classes for press members from various countries in Africa

Sertac Bulur   | 20.06.2022
Anadolu Agency's war journalism training kicks off in Turkish capital


The 21st round of the War Journalism Training Program organized by Anadolu Agency, in cooperation with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Turkish Police Academy, kicked off in Türkiye's capital Ankara on Monday.

The 12-day program aims to train journalists who will work in war, disaster, and emergency situations.

It will include theoretical and practical classes to be taught by experienced journalists of the Anadolu Agency and experts from the General Directorate of Security, Police Academy, the Turkish Armed Forces, and the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).

As part of the training program, the journalists will be trained on how to survive in crises and war-torn conflict zones while reporting under emergency situations.

Anadolu Agency News Coordinator Yahya Bostan speaking at the opening ceremony, said that all foreign quotas of this term -- a total of 22 journalists -- are reserved for press members from various countries in the African continent, adding that they attach importance to the development of the capacity of Africa's local media.

He underlined that total of 439 trainees, 156 of whom are foreign press members, have benefited from the war correspondent training so far.
"We have an internationally valid certificate. With this certificate and our local and foreign friends who participated in our training, our training gained a serious international reputation and complaisance," he said.

Bostan emphasized that the difficult conditions that journalists may encounter in times of war and disaster would be created as part of the training.

"Our expert trainers will provide you with vital information about the precautions you need to take to survive while practicing your profession during war and emergency situations. Together, we have prepared a training module covering many topics from journalism to personal safety, from war terminology to first aid, from advanced driving techniques to survive in water, from explosives and hazardous materials to communication in emergency situations and media management," he stressed.

Only most successful training in the world

Noting that they examined the pieces of training given in the world on war journalism one by one in order to contribute to education, Bostan said: "Other war journalism training does not actually go beyond first aid training. I think that this training given in Türkiye is truly the only and most successful training in its field in the world."

He went on to say that the training program was prepared considering all negative conditions in the field and is being updated according to the actual needs.

Bostan said they had in-depth interviews with the reporters who worked in the Russia-Ukraine war about their field experiences and the role of the war journalism training on fulfilling their duties in the field and based on the feedback, they amended the missing or required points.

"But they all underlined that: 'This training is very realistic. It puts us ahead of what's happening in the field and saves lives in extraordinary situations'."

He drew attention to the fact that the pieces of training were given by experts in the field.

Right to receive news

Ufuk Ayhan, deputy head of the Turkish Police Academy, said that there is a possibility of encountering serious threats and problems related to illegal situations, human rights and public order in post-war and post-conflict regions.

Speaking on the importance of the right to receive news in such environments, Ayhan said: "The most important task here is the right to receive information, which I interpret as a human right."

"As part of the right to receive information, you have very important duties. Because in conflict zones, in war zones, clarity is lost. Sometimes limits can be stretched and exceeded. And the accuracy of the news coming from the parties, that is, the news that will come from the law enforcement representing the public order and the news from the other parties of the conflict becomes questionable in terms of the right of individuals to receive information," he said.

Ayhan expressed his belief that the participants of the training will make serious contributions to people's right to receive accurate news.
Explaining that war journalism training is a "difficult process" with examples from the past, Ayhan wished the participants to complete the training with success and health.

Ugur Tanyeli, a senior official of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), said that they have provided various training terms to more than 1,000 media members since 2017, together with Anadolu Agency, adding that the war journalism training can be seen as "the most privileged and most realistic" among these programs.

Noting that members of the media are among the groups most affected by the war conditions, Tanyeli said: "Journalists are the civilians who suffer the most casualties in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, after civilians."

"These pieces of training will make a great contribution to your survival, to practice your profession with less damage from conflicts," he added.

* Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

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