27 November 2023

“24th Term War Journalism Training” Concludes

Certificates were presented with a ceremony to a total of 24 trainees, including 13 foreign media workers, who completed “24th Term War Journalism Training” organized in cooperation with Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Anadolu Agency and the Police Academy.

The certificate ceremony of the “24th Term War Journalism Training”, organized by Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in cooperation with Anadolu Agency (AA) and the Police Academy, was held between 6 and 17 November at Anadolu Agency’s Headquarters with the purpose of training reporters who will cover news during war, disaster and state of emergency.

At the ceremony at AAtölye, AA Deputy Director General Oğuz Enis Peru congratulated the trainees who successfully completed the War Journalism Training consisting of 12-day challenging stages.

Peru stated that war journalists carry out highly critical duties under harsh conditions to inform the public accurately, block disinformation from the primary source and reveal the truths.

Stressing that the war journalists not only convey information from war zones but also reveal war crimes and prevent the cover-up of inhuman and unlawful treatments, Peru reminded that French lawyer Gilles Devers, who defends Palestinian victims at the International Criminal Court, evaluated AA’s photographs showing Israel committing war crimes as “perfect documents”. Peru also added that the French company Lafarge’s aid to the terrorist group Daesh/ISIS was found out thanks to AA’s relevant news.

Expressing that AA, with its 63 reporters, photojournalists, independent journalists and 25 staff in Gaza alone, is one of the agencies having the most journalists in the region where the Israeli-Palestinian conflict takes place, Peru said:

“We are aware that war journalism training is not solely a process covering war zones and conflict areas. We have been organizing this War Journalism Training, whose main mission is ‘surviving first’, since 2012. During this War Journalism Training, 26 courses were given in many areas, from journalism to personal security, war terminology to first aid, basic driving techniques to survival in water, and explosive and hazardous materials to worse situations. This 12-day training included a total of 108 hours of training, 62 hours of which were practical. Our main mission in these courses is to teach by experiencing and to make the trainees internalize the survival skill.”

Underlining that the trainees have already seen all the scenarios they may face in any war, conflict or earthquake, Peru said that AA wants its war journalists to internalize the psychology of war and conflict, just like the warring parties. He also emphasized that the presence of journalists who know how to survive and who have a strong will and attitude under harsh conditions is essential both for their life safety and for the accuracy of informing the public.

“There should be no war; thus, there should be no need for war journalists”

Police Academy Vice President Fatih İnal, who began his speech by wishing that “There should be no war, there should be no need for war journalists”, stated that war is an inevitable fact of today’s world and journalists are a part of this fact.

İnal said: “We welcome all the journalists who did not surrender their pen, shutter button, video camera and their conscience to tyrants and who are not afraid to announce to the world what they think is right” and added:

“Enabling all journalists and media workers to stay healthy and alive is what we do. We do not train journalists only for wars. As I also said during the course, this program is, in fact, about reporting under harsh conditions. We want to help our press members to survive and cover accurate news during natural disasters, earthquakes, floods and all similar natural disaster conditions and to share the experiences of our institution.”

İnal also stated that the war journalism training program has been updated constantly with the participants’ recommendations and suggestions.

“Nigerien journalist brought the injured soldier back to life thanks to the training”

Head of the Department of Foreign Relations and Partnerships at TİKA, Uğur Tanyeli, also stated that the training is the closest to the war and conflict conditions and one of the most important examples of its kind in the world.

Expressing that the journalists perform a great task under conflict conditions, Tanyeli highlighted that the challenging training provided within the extent of the program will facilitate the journalists’ work in the field.

He cited that a Nigerien journalist, who attended War Journalism Training during the previous terms, brought an injured soldier back to life thanks to his training. Tanyeli also said: “None of us would want to witness such an instance. But unfortunately, since this is an unavoidable result of this job, training you for these conditions shows us how it can really help other people, as seen in this example.”

Following the speeches, the certificates of the trainees who successfully completed the 24th War Journalism Training were presented.

The program ended with a group photo shoot.

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