Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Reuters/Lintao Zhang

Turkish pro-government news outlet Daily Sabah columnists held a panel discussion in Shanghai on Friday, discussing the deepening ties between Turkey and China, while decrying the influence of Western media.

Sabah columnist Şeref Oğuz accused the Western media and European Union of supporting the coup attempt of July 2016 and thanked China for their support of Turkey in the aftermath. He went on to say that Turkey is an ideal partner to bridge the divide between China and the West.

“Turkey is situated right in the middle of the center of power shifting from the Atlantic to the Pacific region, and we are in a unique position to help China meet the West and the West meet China,” said Oğuz, as the discussion highlighted Turkey’s importance to the One Belt, One Road initiative.

Shanghai University Professor Guo Changgang echoed Oğuz’s wariness of the Western media when he said the two countries, “need to know each other directly, rather than learning about each other from the Western media.”