Turkish daily admits to making up parts of Chomsky interview, releases alleged text
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish daily Yeni Şafak released a statement Aug 31 following controversy surrounding reporter Burcu Bulut’s interview with Noam Chomsky, admitting to fabricating three sentences 'in accordance with the procession of the answers.' Hürriyet photo
Turkish daily Yeni Şafak released a statement Aug. 31 following controversy surrounding reporter Burcu Bulut’s interview with Noam Chomsky, admitting to fabricating three sentences “in accordance with the procession of the answers” while releasing a second transcript between the two that the world-renowned academic reportedly forgot.
A statement on the daily’s website said the interview was conducted via two separate emails, one of which was published on Chomsky’s own website, while the other was completely neglected.
The newspaper, however, admitted that three sentences – “We saw a mass resistance, made up of Morsi supporters, which moved with a longing of democracy,” “The tragedy of Asma, the massacred daughter of senior Muslim Brotherhood politician Mohammad al-Beltagy, cannot be forgotten” and “Lebanon and Tunisia are also at the cannon’s end” – were fabricated.
While the adding of sentences was “not completely right,” the interview has no other misquotations, the daily said, accusing Chomsky of not remembering the answers and the email which he sent to Bulut during their email traffic. The statement further targeted “those who attack Yeni Şafak on an ideological basis” and put up a link on the website to the alleged text of the forgotten second email.
The transcript, however, fueled further controversy, as certain parts of the interview’s frequently incomprehensible or ungrammatical English wording elicited a social media response within minutes.
The use of the word “milk port” in the sentence “Contrary to what happens when everything that milk port, enters the work order, then begins to bustle in the West,” especially attracted reaction, with “milk port” resembling the exact translation of a similar Turkish idiom that means “calm and quiet.” Within hours, “milk port” became a popular trending topic on the micro-blogging website Twitter.
Another debated answer was one in which Chomsky – a famous linguist – confirms that “Turkey is a very powerful state” before allegedly saying the following in what could only be charitably termed awkward English: “A good mediator. Moreover, both Muslim and assimilated by the end of democracy in a country., I think the idea of the Turkey instance that west is quite frightened to come to life again in Egypt.”
Chomsky accused Yeni Şafak on Aug. 30 of publishing an interview with himself containing fabricated remarks that he did not state about recent incidents in Egypt. To back up his claims, Chomsky published the original version of the questions and answers of the email interview with Bulut. Yeni Şafak’s published interview and the philosopher’s website version were quite different in content.