Breaking News: Greece, Turkey, and the Media in the New Political Landscape will seek to understand the ways in which the production, circulation, and consumption of news affect contemporary Greek-Turkish relations. The role of news media was brought to the fore during the 1996 dispute between the two countries over the Imia/Kardak islet in the Aegean Sea, when extensive news coverage played a driving role in escalating tensions. While most considerations of Greek-Turkish relations tend to focus on historical animosity or geopolitical developments, this two-day conference will ask what understandings of these relations emerge from an examination of the ways in which news media shape foreign policy. This question is particularly pressing today as a result of developments in digital technologies and the radical reconfiguration of the media and political landscape in Greece and Turkey. The conference will bring together academics, policy makers, journalists, and media producers to consider topics such as the significance of information and objectivity in an era of so-called “fake news,” the role of public opinion in the shaping of foreign policy, diplomacy and statecraft in the digital era, and the methodological challenges of studying news media as crucial actors in international relations.
The conference is organized by the Program in Hellenic Studies, the Hellenic Studies Program at California State University—Sacramento, Columbia's Global Center in Istanbul, and the University Seminar in Modern Greek, with additional sponsorship by the Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies and the Department of Classics.
Dimitris Antoniou (Columbia University)
Katerina Lagos (California State University, Sacramento)
Ipek Cem Taha (Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul)
Friday, May 3
Faculty House, Ivy Lounge
9:30-9:45 Welcoming Remarks and Introduction from the Organizers
Ioannis Mylonopoulos (Columbia University)
Safwan Masri (Columbia University)
Dimitris Antoniou (Columbia University) and Katerina Lagos (California State University, Sacramento)
9:45-11:00 Panel I: Greece and Turkey in a Changing World
Othon Anastasakis (University of Oxford): Greek-Turkish Relations and the Weakening of Europe’s Leverage
Mustafa Aydın (Kadir Has University): Moving beyond the Security Dilemma: Coping with Uncertainty in Turkish-Greek Relations
Ioannis Grigoriadis (Bilkent University): Reporting Greek-Turkish Relations: On Asymmetries and Stereotypes
Moderator: Konstantinos Tsiaras (Μember of the Greek Parliament, former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs)
This introductory panel will consider the current state of Greek-Turkish relations in a social, geopolitical, and media context. The panelists will review the contemporary situation of Greece and Turkey (financial crisis, resurgent nationalism, religious bigotry), enduring and novel issues in the countries’ bilateral relations (refugee crisis, anti-regime Turks finding refuge in Greece, oil explorations), the role of third countries and international organizations, and depictions of Greek-Turkish relations in the media.
11:15-12:30 Panel II: Mapping the Media Landscape
Murat Yetkin (YetkinReport): Changes in the Impact of Media on Turkish-Greek Relations through the Years, Due to Shifts in the Media Landscape
Cengiz Çandar (Stockholm University): The Impact of Erosion of Mainstream Media in Turkey and the Violations of Freedom of Expression on the Future of Greek-Turkish Relations
Tasos Kostopoulos (Efimerida ton Syntakton): A Farewell to Later Metapolitefsi: Greek Media between the Scylla of Capital Concentration and Cyberspace Charybdis
Moderator: Chiara Superti (Columbia University)
The second panel will examine the new media landscape in Greece and Turkey at the intersection of business and political interests. Panelists will discuss media ownership, censorship, and relations between media and the state.
12:30-2:00 Break for lunch
2:00-3:30 Panel III: The Making of News
Afşin Yurdakul (Harvard Nieman Foundation): (Dis)covering the Komshu: When and Why Greece Leads in Turkish Television News
Apostolos Mangiriadis (Skai TV): Nightly News: Style or Substance?
Angelos Athanasopoulos (To Vima): The Greek-Turkish Conflict and its Coverage in Greek Media: Is it a Case Study of the Pavlov Experiment?
Ruşen Çakır (Medyascope.tv): Why Greek-Turkish Relations are not Popular Anymore in Turkish Media?
Moderator: Betsy Reed (The Intercept)
The third panel will focus on the technologies that inform news production and the technical considerations that scholars often overlook. How do media professionals decide that something is newsworthy and trustworthy? How is a piece of Greek-Turkish news prioritized in the news agenda? What is the impact of social media on foreign policy?
Athanasios Ellis (The New York Times / Kathimerini):23 Years After: Media Coverage and the Imia/Kardak Crisis
This salon session features a discussion with Athanasios Ellis, Editor-in-Chief of the English edition of the Kathimerini, on the Imia/Kardak crisis and the evolution of media coverage of Greek-Turkish relations since 1996.
5:00-6:00 Keynote Lecture
Ann Cooper (Columbia University): Is Press Freedom Poisoning the Marketplace of Ideas?
Saturday, May 4
9:30-10:45 Panel IV: Diplomacy, Statecraft, and the Media
Paris Aslanidis (Yale University): The Impact of Populist and Anti-populist Narratives on Greek-Turkish Relations
Dimitrios Triantaphyllou (Kadir Has University): Moving beyond the Pyrotechnics: Reporting on the Substance of Greek-Turkish Relations
Elena Lazarou (European Parliamentary Research Service): Mass Media and the Legitimization of Foreign Policy Choices: From the Greek-Turkish Imia Crisis to the EU's Current Foreign Policy
Moderator: Taso Lagos (University of Washington)
The final panel will outline the scholarly contributions of the conference and ask what a media-informed study of the Greco-Turkish relations entails and how we might study the media as actors in international relations.
11:00-12:00 Roundtable Discussion: Looking Αhead: The Future as Spectacle, the Future as Data
Moderator: Peter Bratsis (CUNY)
In this roundtable discussion speakers will consider the future of Greek-Turkish relations by taking into account trends in social media and data analysis.