I participated in the programme in two ways. Firstly, I was charged with monitoring the Turkish press every day in order to select and submit articles on major topical issues for approval. Secondly, I translated the articles selected from Turkish to English.
When selecting articles, I took particular care to ensure that the issues were presented from all aspects, and that all the conflicting views were given. To that end, I used newspapers of all political shades from left-wing, centre and conservative to right-wing.
The topics selected and translated included:
- Turkish politics: an analysis of the election results of 7 June and 1 November 2015, the main political parties and their stance on various issues on the political agenda, Turkish foreign policy issues, amendment of the Constitution, and the presidential system
- ISIS terrorism: the attacks on Ankara and Sultanahmet and their repercussions on the Turkish economy, the ISIS terrorist attack in Paris, comments on the phenomenon of terrorism by Islamic State.
- The situation in Syria: Turkish policies and aspirations in Syria, the US and Turkey stance on the Northern Syria Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), and the attempt to cantonise the PYD in Northern Syria.
- Russian-Turkish relations: the past and present of Russian-Turkish relations, the economic repercussions of political tensions with Moscow, and comments about Putin’s stance
- The Kurdish issue: developments in the peace process, the results of the armed conflict in the eastern provinces of Turkey, the PKK and Öcalan, the role of the pro-Kurdish party HDP and the state as key players in resolving the Kurdish issue and the way in which those stances developed, the PKK declaration of autonomy in some provinces of Eastern Turkey, and views about how to combat terrorism and the PKK.
- The refugee crisis: Conflicting views about EU consultations, living conditions and problems faced by refugees in Turkey
- Women’s rights: comments about the abuse and murder of women, and views about the reduction of sentences for perpetrators convicted of violence against women in Turkey