Turkiye

Working Journalists’ Day marked in Turkiye

Journalists tell their stories on day honoring their work, rights

Ali Murat Alhas   | 11.01.2022
Working Journalists’ Day marked in Turkiye

ISTANBUL

As Turkiye marked the 60th anniversary of Working Journalists’ Day, unsung heroes of the media industry recounted the challenges they go through in their efforts to bring people the news.

From flooded streets, near burning homes or at heated protests, journalists compete with their colleagues from other organizations to convey the latest information, whether it be under the scorching heat of the summer or the freezing cold of the winter.

Following fires, earthquakes, traffic accidents, arrests, operations, cases and investigations, murders and thefts, they work day and night, even risking their lives and visiting hospitals daily at a time when no one is willing to due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporters sometimes work hours for a minute-long news story, summarize thousands of pages of a document in a single page and work regardless of national or religious holidays.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, some of them told their stories and the things they face in the field.

Aykut Zor of Ihlas News Agency said the traffic was the "sweet curse" of Istanbul that journalists have to deal with, adding it could be really hard to move from one place to another when something urgent comes up.

Zor also noted that the news team could sometimes get a negative reaction when they arrive at a news site but they would remain calm and do their best to carry out their job properly: Informing people about the latest important developments.

Melike Inal, the courthouse reporter for Ihlas News Agency, said there were times when she would “chase” a story for days and naturally compete with other colleagues.

“All in all, I consider myself lucky to be a journalist and proud of myself for doing this job despite setbacks,” she said.

Also working at the courthouse as a reporter, Elif Altin, who works for Milliyet Daily, said she sometimes found it difficult to remain neutral in cases involving child abuse, violence against women and terrorism.

“When a victim sheds tears during the trial, we are also affected and get upset. However, we somehow do not reflect our feelings. We storify the incident while going through these complicated feelings. As years pass, you get professional in bottling up your feelings,” said Altinm, who has 12 years of experience.

Irem Demir, for her part, said the COVID-19 pandemic made journalism even harder as following a story could get more difficult from time to time.

Having been subjected to physical violence while following a case, Gamze Erdemir said such incidents against journalists had increased recently.

"I wish that ended because violence against a single journalist is violence against all journalists," she said.

Working Journalists' Day has been celebrated since 1961 to honor the rights of journalists.

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