TurkeyMarch 3 2023, 11:01 am

Turkish State Media Hosts European Officials for Discussion on Ukraine

A Por­tuguese ex-Min­is­ter of Europe and a Mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment report­ed­ly joined a pan­el dis­cus­sion on Ukraine with a research direc­tor from a pro-Turk­ish think tank at a con­fer­ence host­ed by Turk­ish state media. The fol­low­ing is a sum­ma­ry of the Anadolu Agency report:

Decem­ber 22, 2022: In a pan­el enti­tled “Rus­sia-Ukraine War: Lessons Learned”, experts dis­cussed the ongo­ing war between Rus­sia and Ukraine at the TRT World Forum in Istan­bul. Thomas Greminger, the direc­tor of the Gene­va Cen­ter for Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy, stat­ed that both sides believe that the mil­i­tary momen­tum is still on their side, but attri­tion and exhaus­tion may lead to a cease­fire. Ryszard Czar­nec­ki, a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, pre­dict­ed that a fun­da­men­tal peace treaty between Ukraine and Rus­sia is unlike­ly by the first anniver­sary of the war, and a cease­fire is the most prob­a­ble sce­nario. Bruno Macaes, Por­tu­gal’s for­mer min­is­ter of Europe, stat­ed that the con­flict would focus more on the eco­nom­ic, indus­tri­al, and polit­i­cal sides of the con­flict, with Rus­sia build­ing its alliance with Iran and Ukraine guar­an­tee­ing Amer­i­can sup­port. Kil­ic Bugra Kanat, the research direc­tor of the SETA Foun­da­tion, added that exter­nal fac­tors would shape the tra­jec­to­ry of the war in 2023. The TRT World Forum 2022, which brings togeth­er aca­d­e­mics, jour­nal­ists, intel­lec­tu­als, politi­cians, and mem­bers of civ­il soci­ety, is held in per­son this year after being held vir­tu­al­ly for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Turk­ish Radio and Tele­vi­sion Cor­po­ra­tion (TRT) oper­ates TRT World, a news chan­nel found­ed in 2015 to deliv­er Turkey’s posi­tions on world events and to rival chan­nels like major news chan­nels like CNN and BBC. TRT World’s chair­man is a for­mer class­mate of Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s son, Bilal. After the 2016 Turk­ish coup, the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment purged jour­nal­ists from TRT, and TRT World employ­ees have said they were pres­sured to take the government’s posi­tion on the coup, blam­ing Penn­syl­va­nia-based cler­ic Fethul­lah Gülen. TRT has offices in Eura­sia, the Mid­dle East, as well as in Ger­many, Bel­gium, the UK, and the US, where it has had to reg­is­ter itself as an agent of a for­eign gov­ern­ment formally.

The SETA Foun­da­tion for Polit­i­cal, Eco­nom­ic and Social Research (Turk­ish: Siyaset, Ekono­mi ve Toplum Araştır­maları Vak­fı; SETA) is a Turk­ish think tank that was found­ed in 2005 by Ibrahim Kalin (who lat­er became Turk­ish Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son and Spe­cial Advis­er to the Pres­i­dent of Turkey). The Ger­man gov­ern­ment has said that SETA is close to Pres­i­dent Erdoğan’s AKP par­ty and receives fund­ing from the Albayrak fam­i­ly, which includes for­mer Finance Min­is­ter and Erdoğan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak. Sev­er­al oth­er promi­nent AKP politi­cians have had lead­ing roles in SETA, includ­ing for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Ahmet Davu­toğlu, and its cur­rent Gen­er­al Coor­di­na­tor is a mem­ber of the Turk­ish Pres­i­den­cy Secu­ri­ty and For­eign Poli­cies Coun­cil. SETA has offices in Turkey, the US, Egypt, Ger­many, and Belgium.


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