CNN to launch Turkish-language service

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ISTANBUL--CNN, part of Time Warner Inc., and Dogan Medya Grubu, Turkey's largest media conglomerate, are planning to launch CNN Turk in September.

CNN Turk will produce Turkish-language news and TV programs aimed at the Turkish population in Turkey and parts of Central Asia.

The joint venture marks a further step in CNN's regional expansion strategy, which aims to establish local-language, CNN-branded news services in key markets, according to statements made in the local press by Philip Kent, Turner Broadcasting International president.

CNN Turk is Time Warner's largest international joint venture agreement after the Madrid-based CNN+,launched as a Spanish-language service in January.

Mehmet Ali Yalcindag, the president of Dogan Medya Grubu and editor-in-chief of the leading daily Hurriyet Ertugrul Ozkok, says, "[The venture] gives us the capacity to expand outside the boundaries of Turkey into international markets."

The Istanbul-based operation will feature a news bulletin updated every 30 minutes and national and international weather news. It will also broadcast financial analysis on a national level, sports, culture, health, entertainment and travel programs as well as interviews with news makers.

CNN Turk, will use the full news infrastructure of Dogan Medya Grubu both locally and internationally. It will have precedence over other local news organizations to use CNN's resources. A national news network will be established by setting up bureaus in all major cities in Turkey. At CNN's Atlanta headquarters,journalists will work exclusively for CNN Turk.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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