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Food for Thought


Remembering Sami Kohen (1928 - 2021)

It is with a heavy heart that we mourn the passing of master journalist, writer for the Milliyet Newspaper and GRF Honorary Member Mr. Sami Kohen, and give our condolences to his family and loved ones.

Widely considered the doyen of Turkish journalism, our Honorary Member Sami Kohen had introduced the foreign news page to the Turkish press through his unwavering efforts at Milliyet Newspaper and, through his many articles over 70 years, informed his readers of many pivotal issues in the realm of diplomacy and international relations.

For Sami Kohen, son of the journalist Albert Kohen, journalism was an inevitable passion. His first experience came with “La Boz de Türkiye” (Türkiye’nin Sesi – Voice of Turkey), a newspaper published with his father in Ladino and French between 1939 and 1949. Following his father’s death, Kohen renamed the newspaper first to “Türkiye’nin Sesi” and later “Haftanın Sesi” (Voice of the Week), and continued publishing. Gaining additional experience working in various contemporary newspapers like Tan, Yeni İstanbul and İstanbul Ekspres, Kohen later started his tenure as the Foreign News Chief and foreign affairs writer at Milliyet in 1954. As the first Turkish journalist to combine the ‘foreign news’ page with the daily news format, Kohen became one of Turkey’s most trusted eyes on the international stage through his countless news articles on diplomacy and politics.

In addition to Milliyet, Sami Kohen had also penned articles for The Guardian, The Economist, The New York Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. He was also a board member at the International Press Institute. Owing to his many contributions to Turkey’s public diplomacy efforts and journalism, Kohen was made an Honorary Member by GRF in 2019 and was honored by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a ‘Distinguished Service Award’ in 2020.

We offer our most sincere condolences to his family during this difficult time, and mourn his loss.