TİKA and AA’s “War Journalism Training” Had its New Graduates

Within the scope of Correspondent Training Program (MEP) that is organized under Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency’s (TİKA) coordination and through a collaboration between the Anadolu Agency (AA), Police Academy Presidency, Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey, 24 students received their certificates after completing the “13th War Journalism Training” that aims to train correspondents who will work in the war zones and during natural disasters and extraordinary circumstances.

A certificate ceremony was held for the students who have completed the “13th War Journalism Training” program, which is organized at the AA News Agency to train qualified correspondents.

AA Deputy Director-General and Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoğlu gave a speech during the ceremony and reminded the saying, “Let people live so that state can live” and pointed out that the countries which want to survive must value their people. Mutanoğlu said, "People are at the center of this beautiful work we carry out along with TİKA, Police Academy, AFAD and Turkish Armed Forces,” and continued:

"This is the 13th war journalism training we have organized. We tried to spread this training not only to the Turkish media and Anadolu Agency employees but to all our colleagues around the world. TİKA offered us a great support. Police Academy, AFAD and Turkish Armed Forces are already working very hard. Turkey is a harbor for humanity. Those who come here feel safe. You are now friends of Turkey. We see you not only as our colleagues but also as friends of Turkey; it is very important for us that you know how to protect yourselves in the war zones, look after yourself and know how to act there. We would be overjoyed if we were able to help you even a little bit with this activity.”

“What you learn here can be a catalyst for peace and goodness”

TİKA Training Projects Coordinator Mustafa Haşim Polat said people can say “no” to negativities and turn bad conditions into good. Polat pointed out that correspondents experience this firsthand as they are working and made the following remarks: “Sometimes a photograph or a news announcement may incite hatred, start a war, lead to bloodshed, put countries against each other and make enemies out of nations; however, how that photograph is published or how that news is announced and broadcast can do the opposite as well, it can stop, alleviate or prevent a war. Therefore, what you learn here can be a catalyst for peace and goodness, prevent evil if there is any, and help people live happier.” Polat stressed that participants receive life-saving information and stated that he believes those who have completed their training will accomplish many great and beneficial things.

Police Academy Vice President Fatih İnal expressed that seeing all the colors and cultures of the world together is a perfect indicator of the project’s success. İnal pointed out that Turkey is the best possible country for war journalism training and it is also the biggest host of refugees with 4 million refugees residing here.   İnal said, as the bloodshed continues around the world, it is the responsibility of the war correspondents to let the world know about the news from the war zones in an accurate and fair manner.

“Over a thousand real bullets and kilograms of explosives were used”

AA News Academy Coordinator Ümit Sönmez said the participants went through a difficult training.  Stating that over a thousand real bullets and kilograms of explosives were used during the training, he said: “Anadolu Agency’s News Academy is one of the select institutions in the world that offers war journalism training. From the first day of its foundation, the question was, ‘We will do this, but how can we do this?’ Fortunately, institutions such as the Police Academy, General Staff, AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent have led the way and TİKA enabled us to reach different regions around the world with its projects. I thank all of them.  The most important thing that is left to us is the friendships you have established, the mutual love and the everlasting smiles on your faces. These are very important. I hope that you never have to use what you have learned in a war or crisis zone. I hope there comes a miraculous end to all wars across the world.”

War Journalism Training was offered by AA News Academy, Police Academy Presidency, General Staff and AFAD, in collaboration with TİKA, in order to train operational correspondents who can work in the war zones and during natural disasters and extraordinary circumstances. The training sessions covered 29 different subjects such as journalism, personal safety, the law of war, first aid, advanced driving techniques, survival in water, chemical and biological attacks, and media management under extraordinary circumstances.