We are looking for an experienced correspondent to lead a top quality news file from Turkey, a NATO member and EU candidate nation of vital importance to neighbours in the Middle East and allies in the West as it goes through a period of historic change.
President Tayyip Erdogan has seen off mass demonstrations, a corruption scandal and a coup attempt over the past four years, but the country has become dangerously polarized under his rule. More than 120,000 people have been dismissed from public service jobs since the coup attempt in July 2016. Tens of thousands have been detained, including journalists. Liberal opponents fear Erdogan is eroding the secular foundations of the modern Turkish republic with his neo-Ottoman ideals. His supporters argue he is redressing the balance after decades of rule by a secular elite out of touch with the pious masses.
Western allies are watching with concern. Europe needs Turkey’s cooperation to keep a lid on illegal migration, but relations are increasingly acrimonious. Ties with the United States are also deeply strained, as Washington works with Kurdish militia groups in Syria against Islamic State and shows little sign of quickly meeting Turkey’s demands for the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric Turkey blames for the failed coup. Relations with Russia, by contrast, are warming.
Turkey’s domestic politics will remain of huge interest to financial and media clients in the years ahead. Erdogan has made clear he wants to govern until at least 2023, the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the modern republic, but it remains to be seen how he will hold together a divided nation. A peace process he led with Kurdish PKK militants lies in ruins and the threat from Islamic State to Turkey remains high. Both groups have carried out repeated suicide bombings and attacks on targets including Istanbul’s main airport, a soccer stadium and a nightclub, and the country also faces threats from domestic extremist groups on both the left and the right.
Turkey is one of the world’s most important emerging markets, home to a major automotive industry with joint ventures with U.S., European and Asian firms, as well as global brands including Turkish Airlines and some of the most important banks in the Middle East. Its strong growth in the first decade under Erdogan was heavily consumption-led, a story that is no longer sustainable. Its construction boom risks coming to an end and its banks, while well-capitalised, are under increasing pressure. Failure to reform its education system could leave it struggling to move up the value chain and escape the middle income trap.
Turkey is a complex and fast-moving story. The successful candidate will be a strong reporter, writer and editor with a gift for cutting through an often confusing picture to tell a well-contexted and balanced story, capturing the political and economic significance of events and their international ramifications. She/he should have a gift for leading by example and should expect to play a very active role on the file, both writing and editing spot news as well as being able to originate and develop longer-form enterprise and investigative stories. The hours are likely to be long and the demands high.
She/he will have sharp news judgment, and the writing skills to edit less experienced colleagues. She/he must also have the ability to define priorities and set the news agenda for financial and media clients alike, and to oversee a large Turkish-language service with considerable local client demands. The successful candidate will be calm under pressure, with the maturity to look after staff safety issues and the confidence to manage relations with authorities often critical of the media while ensuring Reuters integrity and freedom from bias.
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