The first meeting of the Turkey-Azerbaijan Joint Media Platform under the theme of "Deep-rooted Past, Strong Future," was held this past weekend in Istanbul and was attended by top media and communications officials from both countries.
Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun and Azerbaijani presidential aide Hikmet Hajiyev served as co-chairs for the platform.
The parties decided to establish "public diplomacy, international media, strategic communication, education, legislation and regulation, digitalization and internationalization committees," Turkey's Directorate of Communications said in a statement Saturday.
Speaking at the meeting, Altun said the joint platform, which became official with a memorandum of understanding signed last December between Turkey and Azerbaijan, is "a very valuable step for institutionalizing the field of media and communications."
He noted that during Azerbaijan's liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenian forces nearly a year ago, "important results" were achieved not only militarily and politically but also in the field of communications and the media, thanks to close bilateral cooperation.
"We place great importance on strengthening Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation in the fight against fake news and disinformation in the fields of media, communications and public diplomacy," he said. "We have a consensus on sharing experiences in these fields, evaluating opportunities, developing institutional capacity and making joint efforts," he explained.
Altun called the platform "a great step forward" for Turkish and Azerbaijani media acting in concert, working effectively to inform the public of the two countries and producing shared strategies for combating systematic disinformation and black propaganda.
In line with the targets set by leaders of both nations, Altun said, "With a strong perspective and a dynamic structure," they will do work that brings "resounding" attention to both the peoples of Turkey and Azerbaijan as well as the international community.
Six committees formed under the platform "will have critical functions for the effectiveness and continuity of the joint work and projects" in the field of media and communications, he said.
"At a time when we face intense disinformation and black propaganda activities against our countries, it is more essential than ever for us to cooperate and work in coordination," he said. "With these joint steps, we will do things that will show the power of our two states to future generations.
"At the same time, we will explain the unity of our countries and the power of our states to the international public through short-, medium- and long-term strategic communications campaigns," Altun continued.
The committees, he said, "will strengthen our deep-rooted ties and contribute to the effective delivery of our just struggle to large masses."
Altun added that the two countries also plan to carry out joint projects in the field of popular culture, especially in the movie and TV sectors.
Also speaking at the meeting, Hajiyev touted the communication cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan shown during last fall's struggle that brought victory in Nagorno-Karabakh, liberating a large chunk of territory from Armenian occupation. He added that this cooperation is now gaining a corporate identity through the new joint platform.
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