State-run news agency marks 97th anniversary

Published 07.04.2017 00:00

Turkey's first and only state-run news agency, Anadolu Agency, marked its 97th anniversary Thursday.

Founded on the orders of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, in 1920, the agency recently improved its standing in the world media by reaching out to the far corners of the world and rolling out news in 11 languages.

The agency was originally conceived as a means of communicating the country's struggle for independence in the aftermath of World War I that led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Yunus Nadi Abalıoğlu and Halide Edip Adıvar, two intellectuals supporting the Atatürk-led struggle had proposed the idea of setting up a news agency to Atatürk and decided to name it after Anatolia, which is used to refer the heartland of Turkey that also includes the country's post-Ottoman capital Ankara.

Anadolu Agency was "the result of responding to a need to convey accurate information to people during Anatolia's national and holy war against the enemy," according to Atatürk who ordered news bulletins to be "hung on streets everywhere from cities to remote villages" in an era where access to newspapers or other news sources were scarce in war-torn Turkey.

The first office of the agency was set up in the building used as the headquarters of the independence struggle and it would take three more years before the declaration of the Republic of Turkey.

Halide Edip Adıvar led the agency, which, naturally, first reported after the state of the independence struggle.

After the independence war, the agency started reporting more diverse stories and nowadays, is counted among the biggest state-run agencies in the world with its wide network of correspondents across the globe.

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