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.”