International Stratcom Summit 2021 ends in Istanbul

2-day strategic communications event hosts 22 panels with 118 speakers from 6 continents

Stratcom Summit 2021, a two-day international strategic communications event in Istanbul, ended on Sunday, with a variety of topics addressed over the weekend.

The summit hosted 22 panels with 118 speakers from six continents, according to Gokhan Yucel, head of the Strategic Communication Department at Turkey’s Directorate of Communications.

Speaking at the closing session, Anadolu Agency’s Director General Serdar Karagoz said communication is in “all areas of our lives and has been transforming over the years.”

The history of communications, he said, dates back to cave drawings, which later evolved to smoke signals and sounds.

“​​This order suddenly gave way to chaos after the introduction of the internet into our lives in the 1990s,” he continued. “There is no longer one medium but tens or hundreds of mediums, and each medium now brings its own culture.”

Karagoz said each medium, including social platforms TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, requires expertise.

Emphasizing the importance of the accurate transmission of the message, he gave the example of communications strategies related to the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, praising the efforts of Turkey’s Directorate of Communications.

He said communication mediums and instruments cannot reach the target no matter how right one is in a situation or how strong the message is if they are not used with the right methodology.

Karagoz also announced the agency’s three new projects to start soon, which are green line – to provide subscribers with environment news both in Turkish and English; a fact-checking line for confirmation of news in both social and traditional media; and a monitoring unit to follow all kinds of discrimination, including gender, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Rich debates

Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun delivered the closing remarks of the two-day summit, saying that he was “glad to see that the event has been a great success in highlighting the global and nation challenges we face today”.

Praising the “richness of debate” over the weekend, he emphasized the need for “global engagement and cooperation” when it comes to strategic communications.

“Thus, we can overcome negative effects of emerging new technologies while celebrating the opportunities they present,” he said. “We hope to continue this conversation so we can serve to have a safer, more transparent and democratized cyberspace for all our citizens.”

Cyberspace technologies, he said, present opportunities and challenges, and the summit “successfully identified this reality and critical areas on which we need to work more.”


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