European Parliament rapporteur visits CNN Türk to hail media’s role in thwarting coup attempt
ANKARAKati Piri, the rapporteur of the European Parliament on Turkey, has begun her two-day trip to the country by visiting the Ankara office of CNN Türk to hail the role of the broadcaster on the night of July 15 in thwarting the military coup attempt.
“It’s the first stop in Ankara because of what you went through here at CNN Türk on July 15,” Piri said during her meeting with CNN Türk’s Ankara bureau chief Hande Fırat on Aug. 23.
Fırat’s interview with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through the FaceTime application of her mobile phone in the critical hours of July 15 changed the course of the coup attempt, as thousands of people subsequently hit the streets to stand against coup plotters upon Erdoğan’s call.
“We’re here to show solidarity … to show that we care and to show that we very much support you in maintaining democratic institutions. [The coup attempt] was not just an attack on the government, it was an attack on the people, on the free media. That’s the reason for my visit,” Piri added.
She also visited Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and a number of non-governmental organizations on Aug. 23. On Aug. 24 she will visit parliament and Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman.
The Turkish government has strongly criticized the European Union and other European bodies, complaining that they did not display genuine support and were late to visit Ankara in the aftermath of the coup attempt.