Opening Keynote Speech

Unceasing demands for change and potential threats today challenge the contours of the global political agenda and inevitably urge numerous actors to come up with a vision for change. The TRT World Annual Forum that took place between 18-19 October 2017 was launched with the theme of inspiring change in an age of uncertainty and provided the ground for numerous panel discussions on a variety of themes. By bringing together politicians, academics, diplomats and NGO leaders of all backgrounds, discussions varied from the redefinition of the global agenda to the politicization of xenophobia and Islamophobia. The welcoming speeches delivered by the Director General of TRT, Ibrahim Eren and the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bekir Bozdag, were followed by the keynote speech of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.

Throughout the speeches, speakers mostly emphasised the urgent need for objective and focused media, particularly in the current discourse. In his welcome speech, Ibrahim Eren emphasised that the biggest motivation behind the establishment of TRT World was to create a vision of giving a voice to the voiceless and empowering the powerless. While speaking of the youth of TRT World, Mr Eren pointed out how it was embraced in parts of the world where the truths were largely being ignored. Stressing the need for multiple voices in the media, in a world where it is almost extinct. Bekir Bozdag said that most of the happenings in various parts of the world were not able to find daylight. Therefore, TRT World’s mission was to bring to the forefront not only what is visible, but to also shed light on the truth and act as a global base in the fight against discrimination, radicalization, Islamophobia and various other global threats.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, in his keynote speech, stressed that an anthropocentric approach should occupy the media, particularly in a world where the rough voices of war and crimes against humanity mostly undermine the voices of human suffering. By aiming to place the human experience at the centre of their story without discrimination, TRT World intends to disrupt the global game and become the voice, mind and conscience for the oppressed. The prime minister added that by becoming a hub for these voices, Turkey is taking serious steps in the fight against terror and extremist acts that bring about further human suffering and displacement in different parts of the world.

Inspiring change in an age of uncertainty appears to be a mission for those who encourage hope as a major component of the fight against terror and xenophobia. In a world under threat of pervading intolerance and extremism, TRT World Forum intends to shed light on the shadows of uncertainty and open up a space for all those who want to be a part of this change.