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5 Biggest Mistakes That Foreign Visitors to Turkey Make When Reading Turkish Newspaper Headlines



Turkish Newspapers have their own style of headlines. There is no need for me to elaborate. You can easily see the differences between the English and Turkish Newspapers Gazeteler. It is quite amusing to see how the same news is presented both in English and in Turkish.

A few years back, there was a dispute between two provinces in the breakaway region of Ceceysra regarding the distribution of electricity. Naturally, this caused some headlines in the Turkish newspaper reflecting the seriousness of the issue. The power was shared by the two parts with the English newspapers reporting, “A breeze from the north is blowing off the coast.” Of course, nobody mentioned that there were many people who opposed the breaking away of the province.

Here are a few more examples: Two teenage girls were apparently “killed” in a bomb explosion near the village of Marmaris in the Marmaris province last week. The headline read: “Bomb blast kills two girls in Kocani, Turkey.” There was no mention of who carried out the blast or where the explosion took place. This kind of sensational newsprint can drive many people to take actions they would not otherwise take.

Another story concerned a local fisherman who allegedly threw his catch into a lake. The story read: “A fisherman in Marmaris threw his catch into the water, which was not done properly because it ended up sinking.” Hmm… isn’t that a bit overboard? How can the fish be dead if the fisherman didn’t kill it properly?

Another headline read: “Baby Born In An incubator! No One knows when the baby came out. But the incubators are fully booked.” Who is to say that the baby came out alive unless a fisherman sees the incubator and the mother and child come out together? And isn’t that precisely what happens in such an overcrowded area as Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, where the Mediterranean Sea covers almost all land and where the sea’s temperature is milder than the air?

One headline read: “Baby Born In incubator – Unluckily, No One Knows When!” This story implied that the baby came out dead, a fact that can drive away potential investors. A better headline would have been, “Baby Born In An Ac incubator – Unluckily, No One Knows When!” This headline conveys the fact that it’s a possibility that the baby came out of the incubator alive, factor investors will consider more desirable than the above. Again, better than a report that reads, “Expected to Be Born Dead In An Accent Room!”

A third headline read: “Tension Folds As Parliament Approves Trade Deals With EU.” These headlines convey the sense of optimism about a deal that has been reached, even though Parliament approved the deal only after heated debate. The implication is that both sides must agree to a deal before it is formally presented to the electorate. It’s another mistake to assume that all newsprint is the same.

The problem with Turkish Newspapers headlines is not just that they don’t fit the paper. It’s also that such newsprint is printed on very small print that is difficult to read and understand for many readers. Many Turkish newspapers publish newsprint on Very Small Print. Such papers are difficult for news agencies like ours to read – and we have a lot of experience in working with such newspapers! Readers who cannot understand very small print will find it hard to make a decision about a business or investment.

The worst thing about Turkish newspapers is that headlines are usually used to attract visitors to the site rather than informing them about news. And the visitors get fed up with the headlines within minutes. They may decide not to go on further reading at that particular website.

The fourth worst mistake that a foreign visitor to this country can commit is to assume that the content of the newspaper is 100% reliable. Foreigners tend to make this blunder when they want to read up about a story that has been featured in a prominent newspaper. This is because they do not take the time to check if the information they are getting is correct. They therefore presume that the news is true. They read headlines and get carried away!

The fifth biggest mistake that Foreign visitors to Turkey make is to assume that Turkish newspaper headlines are different from those of other papers in the country. It is simply not true. The content of a Turkish newspaper will be the same as that of any other newspaper in the country. Just because it is published by a leading newspaper company does not mean that it is any more or less reliable than other newspapers. And the readers will quickly realize that fact.