Sami Kohen, a 93-year-old active journalist known as a flagship of international news coverage in Turkey, recounted the historic moment of his 80-year professional life in a recent interview with the daily Hrriyet.
Born in Istanbul in 1928 as the son of Albert Cohen, the first part of Cohen was published in a newspaper when he was only 13 years old.
It was the time of World War II. At home, I only heard about the world, Cohen said as he explained how he focused on world news when he decided to become a journalist.
He made a revolutionary touch on world news coverage in Turkey when he began translating the news he heard on international radio.
In those days, newspapers were receiving international news only from the Anadolu Agency. I knew English and French. I started translating news from world radios, he said.
I was working as a news agency with a man, he added.
He had to name that agency with a man. So he wrote the New Istanbul Radio Service (YRS) at the end of his stories.
YRS became a brand in a short time, he said.
Kohen became a world-renowned figure with his journalistic activities as he entered the forbidden places of the time.
My goal was to go to some closed places. I went to Albania in 1963, China in 1971 and North Korea in 1985. My articles about these trips were published in world newspapers, he said.
Noting that the trips were not easy, Kohen said, To enter Albania, I had to register as a masseur for a football team. The truth came to light when I started taking pictures instead.
When asked about the most important events he saw in his nearly hundred years of life, he quickly made a list and said: The Cold War, the end of the Soviet Union, space travel, the birth of the European Union and globalization.
Kohen received the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Distinguished Service Award presented by Foreign Minister Mevlt avuolu at a ceremony at Dolmabahe Palace in Istanbul on 12 October 2020.
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