Elections

Posted on November 5, 2015

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Sunday saw Turkey hold its second general election in less than five months. It was big story for us, TRT World, and yours truly was the main anchor for the first half of the night. As the ballots closed and the first round of votes started to be counted, it was clear that the AK Party was headed for a majority. It as something they wanted in June but their ambitions were scuppered when the HDP (pro Kurdish party) got enough votes to qualify for the 10 pre cent national threshold necessary for seats to be approved.

I threw live to our correspondents stationed at various party headquarters around then country to get reaction and interviewed guests in the studio for four hours.

Our station is still in its infancy. We have not officially launched yet, but we can now be watched by anyone in Turkey who has Turk Sat and we are currently live streaming. We are out there!! Industry people know about us, so the temperature has been been turned up a notch….

I’ve been presenting for three months and during our pre-election meeting we were informed at some point in the night we would start rolling news. So far we have been broadcasting half hourly bulletins, every hour. This would be new, big push – time to get back in the hot seat. 

My pep talk with the boss had one message, “Make it sing!”.

I was both excited and nervous, a lot of reponsibilty to get it right, but I was hungy for the challenge. In terms of our coverage it was a success. We kept it simple and it was near enough clean and definitely the most successful thing the station has done to date. Everyone has come such a long way.

But being a journalist in Turkey means you are also under the spotlight. I didn’t say or do anything controversial and personally I think my line of questioning was reigned in compared to if I had been in the UK.

The only reason I mention this is because yesterday I was burgled and it did not have the hallmarks of what you could call a normal burglarly.. …more in my next post.

   
 

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Posted in: Istanbul 2015