Al Jazeera adds Turkish service to its news stable

Rebecca Hawkes | 21-01-2014

Al Jazeera is launching a new Turkish online service on 22 January, ahead of a full television channel launch from Istanbul.

The new channel will join existing Al Jazeera news services in Arabic, English, and local Balkan languages.

"Al Jazeera Türk is an important new member to the Al Jazeera Network, serving an important geopolitical market. To launch on digital first continues Al Jazeera's tradition of innovation," said Yaser Bishr, executive director, strategy and development, Al Jazeera.

Initially the service will be available from the portal No date has yet been set for television transmission, but the channel is aiming for a large pool of viewers.

"We have defined our target audience as any geography where Turkish is spoken – Turkey in particular. This means roughly 130-140 million people in Europe, Balkans, Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle East," said İsmail Kızılbay, general manager, Al Jazeera Türk.

The channel will be headquartered in Topkapı, Istanbul, with construction works currently underway to house technology and staff in the news centre. Eight different languages are represented in house, from Persian to Russian, which Al Jazeera Türk's news director, Gürkan Zengin, believes will bolster the channels' regional awareness.

"Accurate and objective news, equal treatment to different opinions, and always being on people's side will be the basic pillars of our reporting," Zengin added.