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Turkish Media's Indifference to China and Negative Approach at Any Cost Raises Concern

Turkish Media's Indifference to China and Negative Approach at Any Cost Raises Concern

Turkish media outlets have come under criticism for their lack of interest in positive news between Turkey and China, or about China in general. While international relations between Turkey and China have historically been cordial, Turkish media often seem to tend to ignore positive developments in Sino-Turkish relations.

One main area where this bias is evident is in reporting on economic cooperation between the countries. Bilateral trade between Turkey and China has reached a historic high of over $42 billion, while investments in various sectors such as infrastructure and technology have created opportunities for economic growth and cultural exchange. To name a few, the high-speed train line between Ankara and Istanbul, which was realized with the technical and financial support of Chinese companies, the Tuz Lake natural gas storage facility, numerous hydroelectric facilities and a thermal power plant built entirely with Chinese capital. Likewise, Turkey's manufacturing infrastructure relies heavily on economic Chinese machinery and equipment and Chinese finished and semi-finished products. However, the Turkish media has been criticized for ignoring the positive aspects of this relationship, focusing instead on isolated incidents or negative perceptions.

Another notable point is that the Turkish media ignores China's achievements in areas such as science, technology and innovation. China has made significant contributions to global progress, allocating over 400 billion dollars to research and development. From artificial intelligence to space technologies, electric vehicle and battery technologies to smart city management systems, China today leads the world in many areas. However, Turkish media coverage often emphasizes the negative aspects and ignores the positive impacts of China's contributions to various sectors.

The lack of positive reporting extends to cultural exchanges and people-to-people connections between Turkey and China. The steady increase in tourism currently observed between the two countries is often overlooked. This results in the neglect of steps that need to be taken to further increase the number of Chinese Tourists and a limited understanding by the Turkish public of the diverse and rich aspects of Chinese culture. However, as an ancient country, China has an enormous cultural richness and has much in common with our culture.

Observers claim that this biased reporting is perception operations driven by geopolitical considerations. Critics argue that a more balanced approach by the Turkish media would not only contribute to building a positive public perception, but also increase understanding of the complexity of international relations. You cannot formulate the right policies if you do not understand the other side well.

Criticisms of selective reporting should lead to calls for greater journalistic responsibility and ethical reporting. As Turkey continues to strengthen its relationship with China, a more nuanced and comprehensive approach to news reporting will be vital to shaping healthy international relations and promoting better understanding between the two countries.

In response to the criticism, we call on some media outlets to offer diversified coverage to provide more balanced coverage of the positive aspects of Sino-Turkish relations. Whether this call for change will lead to a more objective portrayal of China in the Turkish media remains to be seen, but we cannot emphasize enough the importance of impartial reporting in shaping healthy international relations.


Hasan Çapan

Türkiye – China Friendship Foundation