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Anadolu celebrates 104th anniversary of its founding

Ankara, Anadolu: Founded on April 6, 1920, amid the Turkish War of Independence, at the directive of the Republic of Türkiye's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to uphold national unity and to send "the voice of Anatolia to the world," Anadolu is celebrating its 104th anniversary on Saturday.

 

   By Ozcan Yildirim

Established 17 days before the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, or parliament, Anadolu holds a special place in the history of the republic.

   Yunus Nadi Abalioglu and Halide Edip Adivar, two intellectuals who set out for Türkiye’s Anatolian heartland to take part in the national struggle, discussed the issue of establishing a news agency as soon as they arrived in Ankara -the republic’s future capital- during a break in a long train journey.

   Recounting the event, Nadi said that on March 31, 1920, on way to Ankara from Istanbul, he stopped at a train station in Geyve, northeastern Türkiye. It was his fourth day of travel.

   On April 1, 1920, the group reached Ankara. Nadi records that on the evening of April 4 or 5, after dinner they raised the need for a news agency at a meeting at Ziraat Mekteb, the military headquarters of Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later Ataturk), which now houses the state weather service. Pasha readily agreed.

Announcement of the birth of Anadolu across the country

   Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) not only announced the establishment of Anadolu with a historical circular he sent to the whole country but also pointed to the importance of announcing the nation’s struggle across the world.

   The circular he signed on the agency’s establishment reads as follows: «After the fortress of Islam, the Ottoman Empire’s center Istanbul fell into the hands of the enemy, our nation and our country are faced with a great threat. All of Anatolia and Rumelia (former Ottoman possessions in the Balkans) are now engaged in a sacred struggle. During this hardship, Muslims in our lands should be able to reach the truest news locally and internationally, and for that reason, an institution called Anadolu Agency has been founded with the most senior and expert names under the directorate of a council.»

   On the agency’s duties, he said it would provide news and information and would possibly also disseminate official decrees of the representative council. Its news items would be put up on designated roads, streets, and centers, but more importantly, they would be sent to all provinces, including the farthest corners of all villages, he said.

   He also emphasized that it was not just news, but factual news that had to be disseminated. When he said the news should be spread with the possible fastest means, he also meant to use all resources which news agencies across the world were using.

   He established the obligation to provide news that has all the essential elements -truth, exactitude, and objectivity- and should reach the people as quickly as possible.

Anadolu starts its news operations

   After the announcement, Anadolu began its operations on April 12, 1920, in a room at the Ziraat Mektebi headquarters.

   «One of the long and narrow rooms in the quarters was given to us, and all there was were shelves, a chair, two tables, and an old typewriter,» Edip wrote in her memoirs.

   The office was later moved to the basement of a high school and then to a two-story building in Ankara’s Samanpazari district. All the news was produced with the same typewriter that Mustafa Kemal had found for Halide Edip at the Ottoman Bank.

1st news published on April 12, 1920

   In its first bulletin, the situation in the country was laid out, and within this framework, the purpose of the establishment of Anadolu was given.

   It stressed the importance of the distribution of agency bulletins, while the need for the establishment of a network for the distribution of these bulletins and its regular operation was emphasized.

  The first bulletin contained news from both home and abroad. The agency’s historic first bulletin read as follows: «The center of our state has fallen into enemy hands. While Anatolia and Rumelia are on the move to join this national struggle with determination, it is incumbent upon us to make sure that our brothers in faith and country are up to date with the most accurate news and information. For that reason, Anadolu Agency starts its work, beginning today.

   “Everyone has the right to know, access, and read stories and news about what’s happening around them. Thus, we have created special task forces which will bring you the news, put it up on the doors of telegraph offices, and also publish and distribute it if there are enough resources, and take it to the furthest points of our provinces and villages. In this task, we also ask for our people’s help and support. Having said that, here is what has recently happened …”

   Initially, it was decided to publish at least two bulletins per day, and great attention was paid to delivering Anadolu’s news nationwide.

   Anadolu, with its establishment, announced to the whole country by official declarations, was intended to inform the public about the reasons, direction of developments, and other elements of the national struggle for independence in Anatolia to illuminate people with the most accurate domestic and foreign news.

   Mustafa Kemal was also closely interested in the functioning of Anadolu throughout the country, and for this purpose not only announced the establishment of the agency but also wrote various correspondence, especially on the issue of delivering agency bulletins.

Any neglect in delivering Anadolu bulletins ‘crime against the homeland’

   In a circular to the Anatolian Telegraph Center on April 18, 1920, Mustafa Kemal called any neglect in delivering agency bulletins «a crime against the homeland.»

   «We are receiving complaints that Anadolu Agency bulletins have not been spread or sent to some places. At this time, when Anatolia has lost all means of communication with the outside, we undoubtedly consider that this service, undertaken so that no members of the nation are left unaware, will also be accepted and strengthened by all our telegraph operators, and we want it known that negligence in this regard will constitute a crime against the motherland.»

Anadolu becomes voice of national struggle

   The establishment of the agency stirred great excitement in Anatolia, which was curious about the developments related to the national struggle, the new Ankara government, and above all wanted independence.

   Telegraphs congratulating the agency flowed to Ankara from all corners of the country. These messages said the people were ready to provide all kinds of help in delivering the agency’s news everywhere possible.

   But there were many challenges. It was not possible to publish and distribute the agency’s very first issues in large numbers, which were printed in a small room. The printing press in Ankara was old and frequently broke down. Sometimes the bulletins were printed with a mimeograph, and at times were even handwritten and sent to post offices.

   Anadolu bulletins were also regularly sent to troops who were fighting on the front. They were also sent to local newspapers struggling to publish factual news to raise awareness of the resistance among the people, against all oppression and invasion attempts of the Allied forces.

   On the orders of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), the agency’s news was also sent to the people of occupied Istanbul and the local media there with utmost secrecy.

   With the Ankara government’s official decrees, important news from abroad, warnings for the public, news from the front, and answers to the Allied forces’ propaganda, Anadolu bulletins bridged a gap in the news. It effectively launched and defended a second front in the war.

   Besides the two founders and Hamdullah Suphi Bey, the number of staff in the office soon rose to 10.

   Today, Anadolu ranks among the world’s most reputed news agencies, boasting 85 offices across 81 cities nationwide and 39 centers abroad, with operations in 144 nations.

   Establishing collaborations to increase its effectiveness in the international arena, AA offers photo and video content to world televisions through partnerships with global news agencies such as Reuters, AFP, Getty Images and DPA.

Identificador Sitio web Ecos del Sur
Agencia Anadolu

Agencia Anadolu

La agencia Anadolu (en turco : Anadolu Ajansi, sigla AA) es una agencia de prensa del gobierno turco. Fue fundada el 6 de abril de 1920, tras el fin de la Guerra de Independencia turca y el nacimiento de la República de Turquía, el período conocido como Milli Mücadele o lucha nacional turca, con el «fin de hacer oír la voz de Anatolia en el mundo». Es una de las principales agencias de prensa de Turquía, junto a la Doğan Haber Ajansı
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