Pro-gov’t Turkish news network TRT registers as foreign agent in the US: report

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Turkish state broadcaster TRT has registered as a foreign agent in the United States, becoming the latest foreign government-linked news outlet to be listed under the same registration as lobbyists and PR firms working for foreign governments, according to the Middle East Eye news website.

In a filing dated March 12 first reported by Al-Monitor on Tuesday, the network, which has offices in Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, says it is involved in “the preparation and dissemination of informational materials through the TRT World Channel.”

The document lists TRT’s Washington bureau chief, Tuncay Yurekli, as the only agent at the network.

TRT, which says it has a global presence and reaches 80 percent of countries around the world, said in the filing that its journalism does not differ from the work of other news outlets.

“Turkish Radio-Television Corporation performs news gathering and reporting activities like those performed by other news and broadcast organizations that are not controlled by foreign governments – Turkish Radio-Television Corporation engages a team of highly qualified professional journalists, editors and producers who are responsible for producing certain TRT World programs,” the filing reads.

The network often provides rosy coverage of the Turkish government and has earned the praise of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but it also covers news from around the world, including the US.

The Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), which was passed during World War II to counter Nazi propaganda, requires lobbyists and PR firms working for foreign governments to disclose their activities with the Justice Department.

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