Turkish state media TRT launched a French-language platform on Tuesday, just a month after the Kremlin-backed RT France was banned from broadcasting.
The Ankara-based organization, presented as an “alternative media power”, announcement that it would provide news and opinion columns on politics, economics, culture and society through its website and social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
“Our French-language service will deliver rigorous, factual journalism with the aim of improving the lives of those who are disadvantaged and left behind,” said Omer Faruk Tanriverdi, TRT’s deputy general manager, international broadcasts, in a press release. .
He added that the network was interesting for “bringing out the truth” to the hundreds of millions of French speakers around the world.
The French TRT platform could become a thorn in the side of President Emmanuel Macron if he is re-elected in April, in the same way as RT France was during his first term. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has openly stated that he considered the channel as a diplomatic tool to offer a new “window on the world” where “the international media are fundamentally identical”.
Erdoğan and the French head of state have had notoriously bad relations, and the Turkish leader did not hesitate to call Macron a “problem for France”.
TRT has launched four other international branches since 2016: in English with TRT World and in German with TRT Deutsch, as well as TRT Arabic and TRT Russian.
The European Commission is working on regulations for state-sponsored foreign and domestic media to crack down on disinformation, as the hastily decided ban by RT and Sputnik has highlighted the lack of proper guidelines to deal with such media.