January 16, 2013

World's most famous Turkish brand: Today's Zaman

Today's Zaman logo
On Jan. 16, 2013, Today's Zaman's sixth year will be complete. Since the very day this paper launched it has exerted great effort to promote the demilitarization and democratization of Turkey with the hopes that it will transform into a more transparent country governed by the rule of law. In this context it has emerged as a bold member of the fight against military tutelage, deep state networks, juntas and gangs. I believe those who will write the history of Turkey's turbulent path towards democratization will not be able to turn a blind eye to Today's Zaman's efforts in this regard.

That only three days after Today's Zaman went into publication, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was killed in a well-planned nefarious assassination describes well the very atmosphere of Turkey when the paper was born. In this tumultuous atmosphere, Today's Zaman became virtually the only medium for explaining to the world the rough and tumble struggle for democracy during the 2007 presidential election process. Similarly, Today's Zaman adopted a very clear stance in opposition to the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Moreover, Today's Zaman has unfortunately been the sole medium through the struggles against various anti-democratic networks and juntas such as Ergenekon -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- and the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) coup plan. On the contrary, our rivals have tended to adopt an editorial policy that seeks to defame and discredit democratization efforts and combating against anti-democratic structures at every opportunity.

Today's Zaman has been acknowledged as a reliable source of news and analysis during the six years it has been in publication, i.e., a sufficiently long period to reveal the true character of a newspaper, and it has perhaps become Turkey's most famous and reliable brand on the international media scene. It has not only attained record-breaking daily circulation figures -- over 10,000 -- in the English language daily publication area, but it has also become a publication closely monitored by millions of people around the world thanks to the web-based and digital-first editorial policy we launched in May 2011.

According to the 2012 statistics, our website (todayszaman.com) was accessed by 3.1 million unique users from various countries and received about 30 million web page visits in one year. More than half of these users are our loyal followers, with more than 1.5 million of our web readers making return visits to todayszaman.com throughout the year. The average amount of time spent by users on our website is quite significant, amounting to 9.2 minutes on average. Moreover, our readers span the globe with the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Greece and India topping the list of countries from which our website is visited most frequently. Close to 1.6 million visitors to todayszaman.com are from Turkey, while 1.3 million are from the US and 580,000 from the UK. On a cities basis, it is visited most frequently by people from İstanbul and Ankara, followed by London, New York, İzmir, Athens, Washington, Sydney and Melbourne.

Of course, in this success, we cannot deny the role of the members of our young and dynamic web team who update our website within seconds of breaking news and for an average of 19 hours a day, seven days a week. Moreover, our digital-first strategy, according to which we post every piece of material on our website as soon as it is ready for publication, has played a considerable role in our web success. In addition, our more than 50 columnists, our rich op-ed pages, our young and dynamic editors and reporters as well as Zaman's and the Cihan news agency's extensive news networks available for exclusive use by Today's Zaman teams should also be mentioned as factors in our success. Of course, we do not feel content with this success and are resolved to improve on it.

We are well aware that Today's Zaman's quality content is followed by a highly qualified readership, and with this in mind, we strive to improve quality in addition to quantifiable developments. In this context, we are proud to have trained dozens of young journalists who can write quality news stories in English. In this regard, we cannot deny the role of our eternally alert and hardworking editors and copy editors on boosting the quality of the English language used in our news stories and analyses.

As we make our sure progress into the future with the self-confidence of being one of Turkey's most renowned brands in the international arena, I feel indebted to express my deepest gratitude to all of my colleagues and our valuable columnists and contributors and everyone who is involved in making our paper and website accessible to our readers.

Published on Today's Zaman, 15 January 2013, Tuesday
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