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, billed as an ‘alternative media powerhouse’, said it would publish news and opinion pieces on politics, economy, culture and society through its website and platforms social media, 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.
France’s TRT platform could become a thorn in the side of President Emmanuel Macron if he is re-elected in April, much like RT France was in his first term. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has openly stated that he sees the channel as a diplomatic tool to provide a new “window to the world” where “international media are basically the same”.
Erdoğan and the French head of state have had a notoriously bad relationship, and the Turkish leader has not been shy about calling 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.