I get very surprised when I see certain news reports published in EU countries. Some European journalists are misleading the European public with fabricated news and analyses. Fortunately, the European public is waking up to the truth and they no longer believe every lie published or broadcast. But these journalists still continue to spread lies. Many politicians used to believe them, yet this is no longer the case.
I would like to give an example. Some journalists are trying to undermine the improving Turkish-German relations by spreading a lie prior to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's Berlin and Cologne visits scheduled for Sept. 27-29. Their main sources are either Turkish journalists controlled by the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) or politicians of Turkish-origin affiliated with the PKK terrorist group. Thanks to a network formed by journalists who fled from Turkey to Germany or Belgium on terrorism charges, along with German journalists who are ready to spread lies about Turkey, they can circulate their fabricated news.
The clearest example can be seen in the unrealistic news reports and commentaries written about the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, which has been in publication since the early years of the republic. Particularly, a so-called expert in Turkish politics at a Frankfurt-based newspaper that is favored by Social Democratic Party (SPD) proponents in Germany, who has lately been claiming that Erdoğan seized control of the Cumhuriyet and silenced yet another dissident voice in Turkey.
The aim is to provoke SPD proponents against Turkey and to object SPD member Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, and the SPD administration's proposal to side with Turkey against the U.S. This is in full coherence with FETÖ's aims, since FETÖ is highly disturbed by the convergence of Germany and Turkey and the normalization of Turkey-EU relations.
Until recently, the terror group had managed to hide its true colors with the help of some German and European journalists and politicians. So, they were comfortably engaging in black propaganda against Turkey and spreading lies. But as FETÖ's true self is slowly being uncovered, the terror group is striving to spread more lies targeting Turkey. Unfortunately, those believing their lies are supporting activities of the group with their articles and publications, which causes upsets in Turkey-German relations and the interests of Germany.
Just the other day, a news report broadcast by the German-based ARD, a correspondent misrepresented facts around the case of Cumhuriyet. Since I do not want to believe that the ARD correspondent is malevolent, I am questioning how he could believe in a bunch of Turkish journalists controlled by FETÖ, since it is easy for a German journalist living in Istanbul to learn the truths about the case. Representing the administrative change in Cumhuriyet as "Erdoğan's silencing dissident groups in media" is an indicator of serious unfamiliarity with the situation in Turkey.
Demirtaş Ceyhun, my late father, was also a columnist for Cumhuriyet. So, I know the newspaper's conventions and editorial board very well. Ever since it started operating as a newspaper with a Kemalist stance, Cumhuriyet has always been a dissident outlet. For years, Cumhuriyet has criticized all the governments in Turkey for not being "Kemalist enough." As per this stance, the newspaper has always opposed or remained inactive toward religious issues.
But during the years when FETÖ was a significant power group in Turkey, it not only infiltrated the military, police and judicial institutions, but also seized control within the established newspapers of Turkey, aside from establishing its own TV channels and newspapers. Cumhuriyet was one of those long-established newspapers seized by FETÖ. Although the owner of the newspaper masterfully managed to represent it as a Kemalist one, most of the Kemalist readers stopped reading it.
For several years, Cumhuriyet took on the mission of denigrating Erdoğan in the European public under the control of FETÖ. For instance, it played a key role in spreading a lie that Turkey provided weaponry to Daesh. By taking advantage of its established image, the newspaper became instrumental in spreading fabricated news to the EU and Germany.
Meanwhile, the real owners of Cumhuriyet tackled a series of judicial procedures to reclaim it. During the early years of the legal battle, the prosecutors and judges affiliated with FETÖ obstructed the procedures. But when the true colors of FETÖ was finally revealed and the FETÖ-linked officials were deciphered, the true owners of Cumhuriyet finally found a chance to demand justice in independent courts and reclaim their newspaper.
Currently, Cumhuriyet is one of the most dissident newspapers harshly criticizing Erdoğan and the Cabinet. When the European Parliament Turkey rapporteur Kati Piri said that the newspaper was silenced apparently under the influence of FETÖ propaganda, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) gave her the necessary answer. Some journalists should have consulted the opinion of the CHP before making blunt judgments about Cumhuriyet. As can be seen, although a number of press members are trying to deceive the EU public, the facts are out in the open. In fact, representing the most dissident newspaper of Turkey and its Kemalist editors as an "Erdoğan proponent" is an indicator of ignorance and a great disrespect to opponents in Turkey.