Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s top spokesman on Friday commented on the recent visit by Turkey’s leader and a high-ranking delegation of Cabinet members and top ministry officials to Athens, using a television appearance to also express what he called the “poor management” of news related to Greek-Turkish relations by media in both countries.
In an appearance on the NTV network, Fahrettin Altun said media in both Turkey and Greece often color the situation in bilateral ties in jingoistic terms, something he said influences a large portion of public opinion in both nations.
Altun, whose official title is head of media and communications for the Turkish presidency, has passed through Turkish academia as a lecturer in the field he now supervises for the Erdogan presidency, i.e. media and communication. He was also a noted pro-Erdogan and pro-AKP commentator and columnist before joining the government.
In his interview, Altun first emphasized the importance, as he said, of “institutionalizing” joint and bilateral mechanisms between Greek and Turkish media “in order to maintain the positive climate that was ascertained during the visit of the Turkish president to Athens.”
He cited such a forum of media representatives of both countries convened last October in Istanbul, with a second session taking place in Athens last week.
Touching on the Erdogan working visit to Athens, Altun said it was conducted in a good climate “and at this point we saw that a very serious mechanism has been created, one that will operate on the basis of mutual goodwill and good-neighborly relations.” He added that the latter development was also reflected in media coverage of the visit and the extensive talks held between Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Erdogan, as well as on the ministry-to-ministry level.