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LOCAL > Turkish daily admits to making up parts of Chomsky interview, releases alleged text

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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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.' 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.

September/01/2013

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Peter Kypros

9/1/2013 6:30:52 PM

The fabrication of stories and events as well as history/archeology is rather common in Turkish media at least this is my impression. As if the Turkish people do not deserve the truth the way others do. The question is whether any Journalist can tell the truth without been accused of insulting Turkishness. The problem may not just be with the media but with the system itself that needs to be more democratic.

Rimon Tree

9/1/2013 6:05:55 PM

@ RED TAIL As much as it is disgusting to make fake interviews even partly I have to tell you that Chomsky himself doesn't hesitate to bring on distorted or plainly false facts whenever it suits him. And he uses his lin guistic skills very well for that. So Chomsky is to be taken with a grain of salt!

Red Tail

9/1/2013 5:36:26 PM

This is getting embarrassing. Prof Chomsky is well known internationally and when he makes comments like this, it will Turkey a bad image. We all remember the fake interview of Christiane Amanpour carried out by a news paper owned by the son in law of the PM. Do they realize how much tricks like these harm Turkeys reputation?

herb glatter

9/1/2013 5:21:32 PM

Harry you are correct - Chomsky is a cunning linguist.

Çılgın Kanarya

9/1/2013 3:59:27 PM

No morals, no honesty, no integrity, no professionalism and an appalling level of English in the translation. If this sort of embarrassment suits any publication (I won't say 'newspaper'), then it is the one and only Yeni Şafak! The damage is already done though, as the uneducated masses of AKP sheep have read it and believed it. The English translation, by the way, reminds me of the extremely poor English of some of the pro-AKP sycophants on HDN. It was quite simply ludicrous :)

Black Berry

9/1/2013 3:23:11 PM

In other words they made it up, an act of propaganda, a lie, an attempt to deceive people to support the opinion of Erdogan and his yes men. Pathetic.

Harry Foundalis

9/1/2013 2:26:46 PM

A little piece of added trivia: Chomsky is not just “a famous linguist” as the article describes him, but the Father of modern linguistics.

JRC JRC

9/1/2013 2:09:46 PM

It's hard to believe that a reputable publication, such as Yeni Şafak, would publish anything but the truth. They are known for their journalistic integrity and completely unbiased reporting. I refuse to accept that any media outlet so close to the greatest Prime Minister the world has ever seen, and probably the greatest living being anywhere in the universe, could degrade itself by printing lies.

Red Tail

9/1/2013 1:43:19 PM

The news paper states that what they wrote was “in accordance with the procession of the answers”. I would claim that IT WAS NOT. If this was in line with what Prof Chomsky had said, he would not have reacted or felt the need to make any statements. The reason for his reaction was that THE NEWS PAPER WROTE THINGS HE DOES NOT SUPPORT OR AGGREE WITH. It makes you wonder WHY did they do that? Why do they lie? Why do they spread propaganda instead of truth?
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