Is Hürriyet responsible for Akşener case?
The editor-in-chief of daily Hürriyet, Sedat Ergin, has responded to claims made by the Turkuvaz Media Group and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu over the Meral Akşener controversy, in an article published on May 17.
Please see below for the article:
“We are facing a situation that we really cannot make sense of. A member of the Turkuvaz Media Group, daily Sabah, tried to accuse daily Hürriyet over the defamation scandal against Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Meral Akşener, in a report headlined “The tape leader’s freedom to blackmail.”
The May 16 piece, published alongside an image of Doğan Holding Honorary President Aydın Doğan, alleged that “the ringleader of parallel Fethullah Gülen gave blackmail instructions from Pennsylvania, as Doğan’s media became the spokesman of flagrant defamations.”
According to this accusation, the Journalists and Writers Foundation, which is close to the Gülen movement, is behind the flagrant defamations against Akşener. This is intended to give message that “in Akşener’s case you were supposed to attack the Gülen movement, not us.”
If truth be told, we do not know how to respond to this claim. But here are the facts we know;
A news station called A Haber is under the control of the Turkuvaz Media Group. During one of its programs on May 10, guest Latif Erdoğan made a claim that Akşener had an “inappropriate” tape, upon a question from Cemil Barlas.
This defamation caused deep public indignation across Turkey and a great conscientious consensus was shaped in the reactions. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and First Lady Emine Erdoğan were personally among those who called Meral Akşener, expressing their disturbance over this defamation and joining the solidarity.
Hürriyet also reflected the indignation in the most dramatic way with a headline reading “Defamation Backlashes.”
However, if you look at Sabah’s headline, it appears that Hürriyet is actually the taper.
It is not easy to respond within the scope of logic to a claim that pushes the limits of reality so much. All we can say is that accusing Hürriyet over the Akşener case is unjustified.
At this point, let’s recall a classic tactic used by those who have reached a dead-end. Those who don’t want to face their own mistakes or sins, and those who can’t apologize, usually attack others and try to divert attention by saying “look at the acrobat”
The managers of Turkuvaz Group are trying to cover their responsibility in this case by attacking Hürriyet with a similar tactic and sparking the prospect of a media conflict. It would have been better for them to account for their responsibility.
Regarding the “spokesperson of the Gülen movement” accusations…
Look at the contradiction here: As Sabah was accusing Hürriyet, we were publishing news for two successive days about the latest book by former Police Chief Hanefi Avcı, who wrote about the Gülen movement’s operations in the police and judiciary.
Sabah’s May 16 headline shows us just how grueling it is to struggle against defamations and lawless journalism.
Regrets to the prime minister
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu accused the Doğan Group extremely unfairly on May 16 in his rally in Bursa. The justification for the accusation was that the Hürriyet website had headlined news on the execution verdict of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi as follows: “The world is in shock. Execution for president chosen with 52 percent.”
Davutoğlu said this in response: “Do you know the headline of Doğan Media, the webpage of the cartel media? I name it directly because it is sad and tragic … What do they mean? If they mean President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who won the 52 percent of the votes and became president, they should know that elected prime ministers and presidents will no longer be taken to the gallows on this soil.”
Soon afterwards, President Erdoğan began his words in Istanbul, saying “a death sentence was unfortunately issued for Mohamed Morsi, who was elected as president by 52 percent of the Egyptian nation.”
As is seen, Erdoğan felt the need to announce the execution verdict of Morsi by emphasizing 52 percent of the votes.
I can only express regret that Prime Minister Davutoğlu, due to an indirect accusation against our group, reached his conclusion by predicting intent.
As can be seen, we spend a significant amount of time having to respond to accusations…”