TurkeyAugust 11 2022, 16:51 pm

Austrian Ex-Foreign Minister Publishes Articles at Turkish State-Owned Media TRT

A GIOR review of the web­site for the Ger­man branch of Turk­ish state broad­cast­er TRT reveals that sev­er­al promi­nent Aus­tri­an polit­i­cal and mil­i­tary fig­ures have writ­ten op-eds for the site. For exam­ple, in a recent­ly pub­lished arti­cle for TRT Ger­many, for­mer Aus­tri­an For­eign Min­is­ter Karin Kneissl lav­ish­ly prais­es the nation­al flag car­ri­er air­line Turk­ish Airlines:

As some­one who grew up in a fam­i­ly that was pro­fes­sion­al­ly involved in avi­a­tion, I remem­ber times when fly­ing was some­thing spe­cial. The for­mer flair is undoubt­ed­ly gone, due in part to the gen­er­al decline in man­ners among pas­sen­gers. But in Istan­bul and on a flight with Turk­ish Air­lines, you can still catch a whiff of that very spe­cial scent of the big wide world. One rea­son among many to trav­el via Istanbul.

Read the rest here.

Kneissl served as Aus­tri­an Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs between 2017 and 2019. Since 2020 she has also been work­ing as a con­trib­u­tor for the Russ­ian state-con­trolled net­work RT (for­mer­ly Rus­sia Today), cov­ered by the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) as a tool of Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion. In 2021 the Russ­ian Gov­ern­ment appoint­ed Kneissl to the Board of Direc­tors of the state gas sup­pli­er Ros­neft. How­ev­er, she left the posi­tion in 2022 after the Russ­ian attack on Ukraine.

Among the oth­er new authors at TRT Deutsch are retired brigadier-gen­er­al Wal­ter Feichtinger, who heads the Vien­na-based think tank Cen­ter für Strate­gis­che Analy­sen, and Daniela Kickl, an author main­ly known as the cousin of for­mer Aus­tri­an Min­is­ter of the Inte­ri­or, Her­bert Kickl. In his arti­cle, Feichtinger argues for a long-term Euro­pean strat­e­gy against Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Putin’s aggres­sion. Kick­l’s lat­est op-ed deals with what he sees as the cri­sis of the Aus­tri­an gov­ern­ing par­ty ÖVP.

The Turk­ish Radio and Tele­vi­sion Cor­po­ra­tion (TRT) is the nation­al pub­lic broad­cast­er of Turkey, fund­ed by the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment. The chan­nel has been crit­i­cized in Turkey for its clear pro-gov­ern­ment bias and pro­vid­ing lit­tle air­time for oppo­si­tion par­ties. TRT offers online news ser­vices in Turk­ish and 36 oth­er lan­guages. The Ger­man ver­sion of TRT Deutsch was launched in 2020. Ger­man media has crit­i­cized TRT Deutsch for hav­ing a “polit­i­cal agen­da” and offer­ing “Turk­ish pro­pa­gan­da with a jour­nal­is­tic twist.”


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