Turkish state TV stirs outrage after declaring ‘some’ Ankara blast victims innocent
ISTANBULA morning news presenter on Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT has attracted social media opprobrium by suggesting that “some victims” of the double Ankara blasts could have been innocent, referring to “police officers or cleaning staff.”
Before closing his morning show on Oct. 13, TRT presenter Selver Gözüaçık read a tweet by one of his viewers stating that it is not right to “lump all the victims together” because “some may be innocent.”
Gözüaçık said he agreed with the tweet, adding there may have been “police officers, cleaning staff, passersby or people trying to get to work” who were also killed in the suicide bombings.
The 40-second video of the remarks created a social media storm, with many users complaining that their taxes were being spent on such programming.
Gözüaçık later released a video on Oct. 14 apologizing for “failing to express himself properly,” while arguing that some journalists and “hitmen of the parallel structure” manipulated his “mistake,” referring to followers of the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
“I apologize to everyone who has gotten angry with me and to the families of the victims who have lost their lives in the attacks,” he said.
“But I do not apologize to those who cursed at me and my family, to two journalists who did not do correct research before lashing out at me on social media, [and] to the hitmen of the parallel structure,” Gözüaçık added.
TRT is funded with special legislation called the Revenues of Turkish Radio Television Corporation Law (Law No. 3093), which appropriates funds through electricity bills and electrical devices.
Some 99 people were killed in the double suicide bombings in Ankara ahead of a peace rally on Oct. 10, in Turkey’s deadliest ever terrorist attack.