By Nilay Kar Onum
ISTANBUL (AA) - Anadolu Agency, Turkey’s premier news outlet, on Monday signed a protocol of corporate cooperation with the Developing-8 (D8) Organization for Economic Cooperation.
The protocol was inked by Mustafa Ozkaya, Anadolu Agency's deputy director-general, and Dato' Ku Jaafar Ku Shaari, the D8 secretary general, at the agency’s Istanbul offices.
Under the protocol, Anadolu Agency, as a global communication partner of the D8, will cover the activities of the organization and translate them into all the languages that the agency posts news in.
It will also contribute to promoting the bloc by covering the joint work of D8 member states more actively.
Speaking before the signing ceremony, Shaari underlined the importance of working with Anadolu Agency, which he called a “very big national agency that has a global reach.”
“You have many languages and connections everywhere, from every part of the globe.
“We cannot deny the fact that we have to work with Anadolu Agency, not only as a voice of Turkey but as a voice of the developing world and Muslim world as well,” he said.
“I believe that we have to start working closely,” he added.
For his part, Ozkaya expressed enthusiasm for the deal.
“We are keen on building relations and making news about what’s going on within the union. It’s very important,” he said.
“Through this [deal], we can actually reach a wider scope in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the rest of the Islamic world.”
- D8 founded as Turkish initiative
Shaari told how the D8 was originally an initiative of Turkey founded in 1997 when then-Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan proposed its creation.
“We should honor his vision and all his mindset,” he said.
He also stressed that much needs to be done to promote the bloc, pointing to its “huge potential.”
“When I first came to the D8 last year, I realized that not much was being done to promote the D8.”
“Much needs to be done in particular to cover its activities,” he added.
The organization has concluded its first two decades, the first period after its foundation, Shaari said.
“We're now in the period of what we call the organization’s ‘implementation phase’,’” he said.
“By the end of this year, we hope that leaders will endorse our new roadmap that will include various aspects of cooperation in various fields.”
- 6 focus areas
“This year, we started realizing all six focus areas and at the same time, we are looking at new areas of the cooperation,” Shaari said, specifying the areas of trade, industry, agriculture, transportation, energy, and tourism
“We’re working with different bodies and different agencies. There are a lot of activities that need to be covered. I believe Anadolu Agency will be the right body in Turkey, in particular.”
Ozkaya said: “It will be our privilege to contribute to the efforts. … Whatever you’re doing, if it is open to the public, we’re going to be very happy to cover it and broadcast it.”
“Let’s not keep this deal on paper only, but let’s implement what we’ve promised to do.
“Even if you visit some cities in Turkey or if you want to make an announcement or make a speech, we’d be very happy to cover it,” he said.
“Our editorial people will be helping and standing by you after this signing,” the agency’s deputy head said.
During his speech, Shaari also called on member states to pool their resources.
“If we pool our resources as a united kind of a body, we’re going to be a kind of a new economic bloc, the third-strongest economic bloc after China and India,” he added.
On June 15, 1997, the D8 was launched after late Turkish statesman Necmettin Erbakan proposed the creation of an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world.
Alongside Turkey itself, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, and Pakistan founded the Istanbul-based group.
Today, two of its members -- Turkey and Indonesia -- are among the world’s 20 biggest economies.