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Special VOA Programs Will Showcase Obama Town Hall in Turkey

Listen & watch live on TV, radio, Internet

Washington, D.C., April 6, 2009 - Tomorrow Voice of America will carry special programs on its worldwide network featuring President Barack Obama's student town hall meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.

During the town hall meeting, "Listening: Global Issues of Concern to Students, and How the United States Can Participate for a Better World," President Obama will engage in a discussion with an expected 100 Turkish and international exchange students.

"This is a great opportunity to share with our audience an event that exemplifies President Obama's outreach efforts to the international community," said VOA Director Danforth Austin.

VOA's English Service will broadcast the entire event live - scheduled for tomorrow at 0920 UTC (5:20 a.m. EDT) - on radio, television and the Internet. In addition, VOA Turkish will offer an extended television special with town hall highlights, and many of VOA's 43 other language services will carry it live, or feature portions of the event and reaction.

VOA's Baris Ornarli from the Turkish Service, who is on assignment in Istanbul, will co-host an extended evening program on Tuesday with affiliate program TGRT Live, featuring interviews and interactive segments with VOA studios in Washington, D.C. TGRT Live is carried by TGRT Haber TV, the fourth leading national TV news network in Turkey. VOA Turkish will also feature a number of special programs on its affiliate radio stations in Turkey, Cyprus and Kosovo, and on the Internet at

VOA's English language programs are available on an extensive worldwide media network, reaching an audience of over 134 million. The town hall will also be available live and on demand on its website,

President Obama is visiting Turkey April 6-7 after accepting an invitation from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend a meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations, a United Nations initiative aimed at fostering dialogue and increasing understanding between cultures and religions.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S.Government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 134 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call VOA Public Relations at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail