Turkey continues to face propaganda war in media
On July 31 a live ticker at Vienna Airport quoted a local newspaper saying, "Traveling to Turkey means you are supporting [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan." Even if we do not get into the problems by means of principle with the statement, considering that these words came just days after the coup attempt in Turkey leaves many of us raising our eyebrows. While we could not give much coverage of this in the Reader's Corner as it happened, a detailed story is available on the Daily Sabah website titled, "Austrian airport propagates 'travelling to Turkey will only support Erdoğan.'"
The quote in the ticker was met with heavy criticism on social media and was later removed as Turkish Ambassador to Austria Mehmet Hasan Göğüş took the necessary steps upon an order from Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
However, it seems that despite the backlash after the initial blunder, yesterday there was another attempt to tarnish Turkey. In the very same spot where the visitors at Vienna Airport saw a live ticker displaying a provocative statement claiming that "Turkey allows sexual intercourse with children under the age of 15." As the media organization or individuals behind the slander upped the ante after July 31, we are left with a blatant case of manipulative media action. While there have been political actions taken in Austria that are blatantly anti-Turkey, including the infamous banning of the Turkish flag by a mayor, the media also seems to be hopping on this politically incorrect bandwagon. Detailed coverage of the second blunder can be found in the news article titled, "Vienna airport removes anti-Turkey statement after foreign ministry takes action," which was published yesterday.
These two cases also showcase the level of ease with which the media is used to manipulate public perception through slanderous comments and misinformation. Despite both displays of misinformation being retracted and quickly removed, thanks to the actions of the Turkish Embassy and Foreign Ministry, more subtle attempts are still being featured daily in the international media with increasing intensity in the wake of the coup attempt on July 15.
We hope that we will not see a third case of these not-so-innocent blunders, as this ever-increasing trend lends itself to a post-apocalyptic scenario.
Military junta: Group of modernists or a cult?
Ever since the coup attempt, we have been trying to feature different examples of the mistakes and misinterpretations about Turkey in the international media. This week, an article by Norman Stone was caught in our net. The Times published an article titled, "Modernity's first mistake was to take on religion in the July heat" on July 17 on its website. The author of the article, Norman Stone, has also featured in Reader's Corner for a mistake regarding Turkey before. Our readers may remember the article titled, "Curious case of Norman Stone" that was published back on Dec. 14, 2015. Back then, Mr. Stone had made a basic yet crucial Turkish-language error and nearly based his entire article on that erroneous claim. The article in question was published in the Guardian.
If we fast-forward to today, Norman Stone's article this time seems to not only be misinformed but also a textbook example of Islamophobia.
The title itself not only tries to paint the putschists who attempted the coup as saviors but is also grossly mistaken in its assumption. Considering that a vast majority of "modernists" in the army didn't participate in the coup attempt, which was perpetrated by members of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), I believe it can hardly be considered modernist when a cult is behind it, even if Mr. Stone claims otherwise.
Moving on to the article itself, the first paragraph dives headfirst into Islamophobia with the phrase, "However, army colonels, seeing themselves as guardians of the nation, grousing in the mess at the growth of a religious-minded obscurantism that pushes their daughters into silly shapeless clothes and stops them from having a beer, must somehow have been prodded into the stupidity of a mistimed coup."
Of course let us not forget the friendly advice from Mr. Stone: "Any professor of history would have told them: coups don't work in July, when everyone is soporific with the heat. Do it in September."
He also said that "Ataturk … changed the alphabet [Arabic script, with three vowels which does not fit Turkish, which has eight]…" Considering Mr. Stone also suggested everyday Turkish usage of the word "you" – or "sen" in Turkish – as an insult and thought it was used mainly for dogs in the article we previously mentioned, I would recommend taking this with a grain of salt.
Even without numerous examples we simply didn't have space for, the article seems to be expanding the relative limits of opinion pieces with supportive remarks on both the previous coups as well as the recent putschists. But I would like to add a final nail in the coffin, if you pardon the expression.
The photo used in the article depicts the soldiers who were detained following the recent coup attempt. The explanatory note was "Soldiers who took part in the failed coup are held under guard. Hundreds of people were killed." One would think that making it clear that those hundreds who were killed were the civilians (victims of putschists) and not the soldiers themselves, would be prudent and not manipulative but I guess not.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.