President Erdoğan accuses NYT, BBC and CNN of trying to weaken, divide Turkey
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused prominent international media institutions like the New York Times, CNN and the BBC of trying to weaken the country and then disintegrate it in line with instructions issued to them by what he called “the superior mind.”
“Think about this; this newspaper [the NYT] did the same thing against [Ottoman] Sultan Abdülhamit in 1896. It fulfills a duty imposed by a certain power. It serves this power in line with the assignment. This is what it’s doing now. It fulfilled its duty during the Gezi incidents [in 2013] as well, as you know. Just like the BBC and CNN,” Erdoğan told private broadcaster Show TV late June 2.
Erdoğan’s reaction against the New York Times came after an editorial in the newspaper strongly criticized his recent activities as restricting the freedom of media in Turkey and warned NATO and the United States to urge Erdoğan “to turn away from the destructive path.”
Erdoğan harshly reacted against the newspaper and accused the NYT of conspiring against former Turkish leaders like Adnan Menderes and Turgut Özal in the past.
“Do you know what their aim is? To weaken Turkey, to divide it and to disintegrate it and then to swallow it. But they failed to do so. We will not allow this,” Erdoğan said, criticizing all these international media outlets for serving the interests of the “superior mind.”
Erdoğan also slams Cumhuriyet, Doğan Group
Erdoğan also slammed prominent independent Turkish media institutions Cumhuriyet, over its coverage of an alleged weapons’ supply which was transported to Syrian opposition groups, and the Doğan Media Group, for its overall editorial line. Erdoğan repeated his accusations against Cumhuriyet and its editor-in-chief, Can Dündar, saying they had betrayed the country’s national interests.
Accusing Doğan Media Group and others of being nourished by attacking the president and his family, Erdoğan said, “Of course we will continue our struggle within the laws until the end. They will go to Europe to set the world on fire. Whatever they do, we’ll continue our struggle against them within the laws. They have no rights to defame us with their lies. Those who are in Kandil [the mountain in northern Iraq where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party has its headquarters] have their weapons in their hands. But their [journalists’] most important weapon is their pens.”