Ohio University

Hakan Karaaytu

Hakan Karaaytu Profile Picture

Hakan is from originally Turkey. While in the doctorate program, Hakan hopes to develop new media theories that will help explain the media dynamics in Middle Eastern countries, where democracy is rare, and the opportunities that exist for human freedom and democracy.

He also is a teaching assistant in Journalism 1010 “The Future of Media” course at Ohio, which provides incoming journalism students with the necessary background to prepare for their future careers in media related fields through the study of the role, function and future of news, information and strategic communication.

Hakan earned his bachelor’s degree in education and planned initially to teach the Turkish language at Erciyes University in Turkey. He pursued a second bachelor’s degree in the Radio, Television, and Cinema undergraduate program, and has master’s degree from the university in Media and Communication. Hakan also served as the president of the student council for two years at the Zirve University, which had approximately 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

He has always been interested in theater education, and in 2009 he took the director position at the Sahne Kafasi theater community at Zirve University. Hakan organized, directed, and played the leading role in the Moliere’s masterpiece Les Précieuses Ridicules.

Hakan founded the Çehre magazine, the first and the only literary magazine at Zirve University. He observed major news and stories through his personal lens and worked as a journalist for many online newspapers. While it was not an easy experience, he learned so much when he worked in the war zone covering the Syria conflict.

Hakan covered the corruption case of Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman tried in New York City, as a freelance journalist, but the Turkish government has not welcomed his articles, news, and opponent behaviors. As such, he used one of his fundamental rights, which was to request asylum in the United States as a political refugee.

Hakan enrolled in the master's degree program at Niagara University in New York, where he built an interdisciplinary major in media studies, social justice, and theory. He completed his thesis study titled Independent Journalists Reporting on Political Issues in Turkey, using Traditional and New Media. His thesis focused on how President Erdogan and the AKP (Justice and Development Party) Government, who have been in control for 17 years, have transformed the entire media system into a non-objective, manipulative device serving as the mouthpiece of the president.

In addition to his academic and professional work, Hakan took an interest in basketball and learned to play as a playmaker, later joining his high school team. Hakan also still regularly plays football (soccer) and is a very strong supporter of Beşiktaş which is one of the famous teams from the Turkish Premier League.