Anadolu Agency’s war journalism trainees graduate

By Meryem Goktas

ANKARA (AA) – International journalists, who took part in Anadolu Agency’s 13th intensive war journalism training program, graduated on Friday.

The 12-day program, organized by Anadolu Agency’s News Academy in collaboration with the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Turkish Police Academy as part of its journalist training program, began on Sept. 3.

A total of 24 journalists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Philippines, Cameroon, Montenegro, Kenya, Niger, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka and Yemen were trained by Turkey’s military, police, emergency services and public order bodies in Ankara.

As part of the program, several subjects — journalism, personal security, first aid, advanced driving techniques, water-survival techniques, survival during chemical and biological attacks and media management in hostile environments — were taught.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Anadolu Agency's Deputy Director General and Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoglu congratulated the reporters for successfully completing the training course.

Mutanoglu emphasized that the training was based on human lives.

"In order to protect others, you must first protect yourself and the aim of this program is that," he said.

Mutanoglu stressed that war journalists who go to war zones need to first secure their own safety to be able do their duty as journalists.

During his speech, TIKA's Manager for Training Projects Mustafa Hasim Polat also congratulated the participants for their success.

He emphasized that the doors of TIKA’s offices in the home countries of the participants were "always wide open" for them.

Police Academy Vice President Fatih Inal, Anadolu Agency News Academy Coordinator Umit Sonmez, News Academy’s Deputy Coordinator Hayri Cetinkus also attended the ceremony.

Asili Nasra Galgalo, participating the training from Kenya, said that the intensive 12 days were challenging and required lots of patience, zeal, courage and energy.

Thanking organizers for the training, Galgalo emphasized how effective and efficient content of the program was.

“I can say that training was not easy. Some of us, including me, got injured, but desire for learning how to survive in war zones motivated us to continue training with all our strength,” Branimir Kozarov from Serbia said.

Successful participants were awarded internationally-recognized certificates at the end of their training.