By Jeyhun Aliyev
ANKARA (AA) - Anadolu Agency’s 17th intensive war journalism training concluded Friday with 23 international journalists from various media organizations across 15 countries completing the program.
The trainees graduated following the 12-day training program in the capital Ankara, in which they learned how to survive in crises and conflict zones while reporting.
The program, which began on Sept. 23, was organized under the supervision of the agency’s News Academy and in collaboration with the Turkish Police Academy, Turkish Armed Forces, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) -- the state development aid agency -- and Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
The coverage of the training course included a number of key subjects, such as close defense security, first aid, water survival techniques, advanced driving techniques, survival during chemical and biological attacks, riots, water cannon deployment, night camps, natural disasters, and media management in hostile environments.
Over two dozen courses were taught by expert academics and professional security personnel within the scope of program.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Fatih Inal, vice president of the Police Academy, said the academy was honored to host journalists from 15 countries, adding that the participants obtained knowledge on working in war zones and under harsh conditions.
"Let there be no wars in the world, nor should journalists write down the tears and pain of wars," Inal said.
He underlined that one does not need to be in the state of war to understand its pain, noting that Turkey is very familiar with that feeling as it is hosting millions of Syrians in the country.
"I believe that every frame shot and every written just word will help this pain to go away," Inal added.
- 354 journalists trained
Ufuk Ayhan, acting president of the Police Academy, stressed 354 journalists from Turkey and other countries have so far been trained within the war journalism program.
"I hope you had a great training and passed good days during the program," Ayhan said.
TIKA's Vice President Rahman Nurdun also congratulated the reporters for successfully completing the program.
He said it was "a great honor" to address the participants, adding that TIKA has been in cooperation with many countries in different fields in the past 28 years.
Noting that people now live in a world full of uncertainties and crisis, Nurdun said: "You are the king without a crown, people will believe what you write."
He also advised the journalists to share the positive energy and knowledge obtained in Turkey with their countries.
Cihangir Isbilir, the manager of Anadolu Agency’s News Academy, congratulated the trainees who successfully completed the program.
"Anadolu Agency as a centennial foundation gives importance to war journalism course," he said.
Noting that many journalists are being taken hostage, injured or even die in conflict zones, Isbilir said: "We think that this course will be beneficial for our friends who may face these threats."
- Better equipped
Moussa Kamel Souig, a trainee from Algeria, thanked organizers of the war journalism training, saying that they have obtained "a lot of skills".
Souig said the participants did not know what kind of challenges were waiting for them at the beginning, stressing that they are better equipped now.
Daniel Salgar Antolinez, a participant from Colombia, also thanked the organizers for the opportunity, adding that it was "a great experience".
Jasmina Grbavec, a journalist who came from Croatia, said her "curiosity" brought her to the "wonderful training program" in Turkey.
She said keeping calm and not panicking, as well as the ability to save a colleague in difficult and dangerous situations were among the main skills they learned during the training.
"I'm going to my country proud of attending this training," she said, adding that she noticed that Turkish people are very honorable people and "ready to open their doors for others".
"War for me is a story of people which we have to tell to the world," said Ihor Medelian, a journalist from Ukraine.
A video presentation about the training was presented at the end.
The successful graduates of the program were awarded with internationally recognized certificates.