News matters in Turkey

Our host family in Turkey watched the TV news every night.  My father, who was a teenager during WWII has the same habit of taking news seriously.  Within the memory of our hosts and their 18-year-old son, Turkey has been through financial crises, military coups, more than 30,000 people killed by Kurdish separatists, and small wars that nearly turned into big ones (e.g., Cyprus).  What is currently keeping them glued to the TV are recent attacks by Kurdish separatists that have killed 15 Turkish Army soldiers and the idea that the Turkish Army may go into Iraq.

 [I pointed out that the last country to invade Iraq didn’t achieve very good results.  Upon further reflection, it occurred to me that maybe this is our solution for the Iraq problem.  We pull our troops out and give the country back, not to Saddam or his heirs, but to the Turks, who governed it as part of the Ottoman Empire.]

1 Comment

  1. Jagadeesh Venugopal

    October 12, 2007 @ 6:42 am

    1

    Some observations from growing up in India, and being just as addicted to the news:

    * News presentations are not anchored by “superstars”. Rather than pay fancy names for rating points, television stations actually put out news worth watching or listening to.

    * Radio in the rest of the world is not coalesced into a rigid format (news, traffic, weather, ads all condensed into a span of 10 minutes).

    * Newspapers are 12-15 pages or so. With far less advertising content, and weighing grammes, not pounds like the Globe weighs on most days. Many places in India had community “reading rooms” with newspapers for those who could not afford a copy of their own.

    One of my fondest memories growing up is that in India we only had one government broadcaster for Radio and TV. So those of us with access to a shortwave radio would invariably tune into the BBC, which those days was considered the gold standard for news.

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