Turkish politicians slam foreign media coverage of the Gezi Park protests
Police use tear gas to disperse protesters gathered in Istanbul streets. DAILY NEWS photo
Turkish politicians, including President Abdullah Gül, reacted harshly to foreign media coverage of the ongoing Gezi protests, with state-run Anatolia news agency attempting to create a Twitter campaign over the ongoing London protests under the hashtag, “occupylondon.”
Anatolia news agency gave a detailed report of the events that have been occurring in London, highlighting the number of detainments, while posting the story under the “occupylondon” hashtag on Twitter. The hashtag was picked up quickly by ruling party supporters, with tweets exaggerating the ongoing events in London as users warned their friends and relatives in London to be careful.
The social campaign soon turned into response to the previous night’s coverage of the Gezi events by foreign media outlets, and the “occupylondon” hashtag became one the trending topics of the day.
Turkish President Gül too frowned upon the foreign media coverage of the events, criticizing the stories for attempting to draw a parallel between the Gezi protests and the events happening in the countries of the Middle East.
“You have to put what’s happening there, and what is happening in Turkey in separate ranks,” Gül said. “Especially foreign media outlets should be very careful about this.”
Several other social media attempts occurred following the nights events, with hashtags like “YouCANTstopTurkishSuccess” and “GoHomeLiarCNNbbcANDreuter” being used frequently by Turkish ministers, including Minister of EU Affairs Egement Bağış and Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who also tweeted, “My regards to the Anatolian kids who defend their country,” according to Anatolia news agency.
CNN International in particular was one of the most-watched outlets during the June 11 intervention, with CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour quickly becoming a social media topic when she ended her interview with interview with one of prime minister’s advisors, İbrahim Kalın by saying, “The show is over.”