Turkey’s state-run news agency hires new editor-in-chief

State-run Anadolu news agency has appointed former TRT director Yusuf Özhan as its new editor-in-chief.

In a statement on Thursday, Anadolu chairman Serdar Karagöz said Özhan had transformed Turkish national news outlet TRT as director of external services and would bring “a digital-first, innovative, outside-the-box take on journalism” to the role.

Özhan’s appointment is the latest in a number of changes at the agency after former Anadolu chairman Şenol Kazancı was unexpectedly ousted by Karagöz at a board meeting earlier this month.

Karagöz, who previously served as deputy director general at TRT International, has close links to both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, and his son-in-law, Berat Albayrak.

His takeover was accompanied by the appointment of several figures associated with the president’s communications director Fahrettin Altun to Anadolu’s board.

In February, the Constitutional Court struck down a 2019 move to place Anadolu under the direct authority of Altun in the president’s office.

Anadolu said Özhan holds a masters in communication, culture, and technology from Washington’s Georgetown University, as well as a BA in management information systems from Istanbul's Bogazici University.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Özhan is also studying for a doctorate at Marmara University, which has become something of a finishing school for figures linked to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Notable alumni include both President Erdoğan and former Treasury and Finance Minister Albayrak.