ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey’s leading news agency on Sunday assumed the presidency of a regional news agency association.
Anadolu Agency took the helm of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies – Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE) from the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) at a ceremony in Istanbul.
“I would like to express my profound thanks to outgoing ABNA-SE President Michalis Psilos for the successful tenure of his presidency,” Mustafa Ozkaya, Anadolu Agency's deputy director-general, told the ceremony.
“The ABNA-SE was established in 1995 with an aim not only to develop full cooperation among the news agencies of the region, but also to contribute to the establishment of a climate of peace, friendship, security and cooperation in our region,” Ozkaya added.
“Anadolu Agency will conduct the ABNA-SE presidency in line with ABNA-SE goals and will work to enhance dialogue, cooperation, friendly and professional relations among ABNA-SE members,” he added.
“I would like to thank you all again for attending the 27th ABNA-SE General Assembly and conference in Istanbul,” he added.
“We have not registered the association somewhere, either in Greece or Romania or Turkey,” Ozkaya said.
“I hope [with] the decision taken today in order to register and open the website of the ABNA-SE, it will be more powerful and it will help stability and peace in the region, [and] all the countries as well as the agencies of those countries.”
– 'Peaceful spirit of Balkans'
Also speaking at the event, Michalis Psilos, the head of Greece’s Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA), also thanked Anadolu Agency for hosting Saturday’s conference on digital media.
“A peaceful spirit of the Balkans was present,” Psilos said. “Cooperation between our news agencies is crucial. Cooperation among our people, our nations must be our first duty.”
On the importance of cooperation among the news agencies in the region, he said: “I would like to learn about developments in Turkey not from Reuters or the AP but from Anadolu.”
Psilos said he favored cooperation so foreign news desk staff have the chance “to go directly to Balkans news agencies to learn about the activities not only of the news agency but also activities of the country.”
He added, “I think we must promote this idea,” as Balkan news agencies should “do some specific concrete things to promote cooperation between our journalists.”
“For example, as Mustafa [Ozkaya] told me yesterday, it is a very good idea to have a joint award from Balkan journalists,” he added.
Founded in 1920, Anadolu Agency is a well-established global news agency with operations in most major regions around the globe, including the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Asia-Pacific, and serves subscribers in more than 100 countries.
For its subscribers, the agency produces news stories in 13 languages: Turkish, English, Arabic, BHS (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian), Russian, Kurmanji, Sorani, Persian, French, Albanian, Macedonian, Indonesian, and Spanish.
The ABNA-SE was founded in 1995 with the aim of developing fuller cooperation among news agencies of the region as well as helping to establish a climate of peace, friendship, security and cooperation in the Balkans, according to its website.
Among the members of the ABNA-SE are AGERPRES (Bucharest), ANA-MPA (Athens), ANADOLU (Ankara), ATA (Tirana), BTA (Sofia), CNA (Nicosia), FENA (Sarajevo), HINA (Zagreb), MIA (Skopje), SRNA (Banja Luka), and TANJUG (Belgrade).