TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese-Turkish TV show host Ugur Rifat Karlova, better known as Wu Feng (吳鳳), on Tuesday (March 22) became the first foreign-born entertainer to receive a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) press card.
Karlova, who in 2018 completed the process of becoming a Taiwanese citizen, told Taiwan News that Turkey's İhlas News Agency (IHA) had been searching for a reporter in Taiwan for quite some time and that another journalist had recommended him as a strong candidate. The news agency found Karlova to be a good fit based on his language skills and work in TV broadcasting and hired him to serve as their official Taiwan foreign correspondent on Feb. 11.
On Feb. 21, IHA sent a letter to MOFA requesting the necessary accreditation for Karlova to file reports on behalf of the agency. MOFA approved IHA's request on March 17 and on Tuesday, Catherine Y. M. Hsu (徐詠梅), director general of the Department of International Information Services, formally handed Karlova his MOFA press card.
Karlova said that through his reports for IHA, which will be distributed across media platforms such as the newspaper Hürriyet, he will be able to reach many of the approximately 80 million Turkish speakers around the world. According to Karlova, he is the first and only foreigner in Taiwan's entertainment industry who has received the MOFA press ID.
As an IHA reporter, he has already covered a wide range of topics such as the Taiwan Lantern Festival, Taiwanese donations to Ukraine, Omicron vaccine research by Academia Sinica, earthquake damage, and the debate on lengthening Taiwan's mandatory conscription period. He said that he is very pleased to have this opportunity to cover a wide range of subjects, from culture to science and technology, to enable the world to better understand Taiwan.
Wu Feng (left) holds envelope containing MOFA press card with Hsu. (Wu Feng photo)