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Media Release
Light Millennium
April 10, 2004, New York

Çolakoglu redefined the Turkish Media and Turkey's place...

A Conference titled "The Fourth Emerging Power in the Middle East: Redefining the Turkish Media's Role and Future", presented by Nuri M. Çolakoglu, took place at the Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, on April 2nd at 7:00 p.m.

The conference was organized by the Light Millennium, Inc., a not-for-profit organization which is founded by Bircan Ünver, and co-sponsored by Stevens Institute of Technology.

Prof. Edward Foster, the founding editor of Talisman Journal of Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, and teaches the English and American Literature at Stevens hosted the evening. In his introductory speech, Prof. Foster stated that in conjunction to the preparatory process of joining the EU, Turkish parliament is ensuring free speech.

In his speech, Nuri  M. Çolakoglu, a very prominent figure of the Turkish media, presented an extensive summary of the Turkish historical background and pointed out the interesting facts about Turkish media. Çolakoglu, the Chairman and CEO of the New Media Company TV and Advertisement Co, the Broadcast and Print Media Coordinator at Dogan Media Group, and the General Director of ANS International/Dogan Media Group in Istanbul, presented that Turkey now has become a role model in the Middle East. He emphasized Turkey's strategic significance by saying: "Turkey is not the center of the world but it happens to be there." He expressed that Turkey is at the crossroads connecting Europe and Asia, East and West, North and South. He also stated that Turkey is a unique example in Asia having fought the first war of independence. Çolakoglu summarized the economic situation of Turkey highlighting the past economic crises of 1994, 2000 and 2001. He stated the economic recovery. "Now the economy is picking up. For the first time since 1960's, rate of inflation is in single digits." he added.

Çolakoglu said "The problem of Turkey is that we live in a bad neighborhood. Since the end of the cold war, everything happened around Turkey "crises in the Balkans, Caucassus, and Middle East."

Çolakoglu mentioned that AKP, the present ruling party, has strong Islamic connections. He suggested that even though they follow a pro-western attitude, there are strong doubts amongst the public for their insistence on theological schools and access of their alumni to the universities.

Çolakoglu also mentioned that the US and Europe want a politically and economically stable Turkey to be a role model for democratization of the Greater Middle East.

He summarized the latest local elections that happened to be on March 28th and emphasized the ruling party AKPs rise amongst others.

Çolakoglu stated that the print media in Turkey was introduced at the same time with the reform movement during the Ottoman Empire period. After the Republic has been established, the Turkish media had to deal with many coups and interferences. However, Çolakoglu stated "Today the media is a careful watcher of the ruling power."

Colakoglu mentioned that Turkish viewers spend the highest span compared to the other countries. "While the viewer ship rate is nearly 4 in the US, it is 5 hours/day per person in Turkey which indicates that TV in Turkey is the source of information, entertainment as well as education". On the contrary, he stated, USD per capita advertisement spending is very low in Turkey.

Çolakoglu declared that Turkish media has the most colorful, most exciting media environments in a region stretching from the Balkans to India with 21 nationwide, 15 regional and 220 local TV stations, 28 nationwide distributed daily newspapers, hundreds of magazines. He added that the newspaper circulation in Turkey is now over 4 million.

Çolakoglu referred to that Turkish media was once interested in the West, whereas today they are more interested in Balkans, Caucasus and Middle East. He stated that "Turkish media is flourishing day by day," and he anticipated "In 10 years nobody should be surprised if there are more international media in Turkey."

He ended up his informative presentation with these words: "Turkey is a stepping stone on the way to expand into the regions which are on top of the global agenda today."

Following his speech, Çolakoglu responded questions from the audience as an answer to the question about the dimension of the influence of media. "Media does not have the power of converting the world; if they had, we wouldn't have seen the change in Russia. Media can be powerful only when their message has already been in the mind and heart of public." commented Çolakoglu.

Çolakoglu also expressed his "faith in Turkish public. Turkey's values have been established under the secular ruling and can not be changed overnight."

- - -

Special Thanks to all our volunteers below: Video-taping  by Patrick A. Berzinski; audio-recording by Figen Bingül and Gokçe Ilsever, Hande Ilsever; photographs by Ilkan Taskin, Aysel Toprakli, Baris Ünver; for publicity materials of the event, to Buket Sahin, and also to Pinar Senveli.

We are also grateful to below institutions, e-publications/yahoogroups and press for their support related the conference: Stevens Institute of Technology-Public Relations Department; FTAA,Turkuaz.net; Vizonshow.com.tr, Snetaca.org, MezunUsa, ZamanUSA and Forum weekly newspapers, also to tadf@yahoogroups.com, belcikadayasayanTurkler@yahoogroups.com, teknoiktisat@yahoogroups.com, Cleveland_Turkish_Community@yahoogroups.com and Daughters_Of_Ataturk@yahoogroups.com

For more information:
Bircan Ünver
The Light Millennium
E-mail: contact@lightmillenniumorg or

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YES For The Global Peace Movement, YES Loving & Caring Each Other, YES Greatness in Humanity, YES Saving Our Unique Mother Earth,
YES Great Dreams For Better Tomorrows, YES Emerging Positive Global Energy, YES National and Global Transparency, and YES Lighting Our Souls & Minds.
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