Hürriyet expresses regret over ‘problematic’ initial reporting of Erdoğan’s remarks
ISTANBULThe way that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks during a TV interview on Sunday evening were reported on our newspaper’s website drew a harsh reaction from the ruling party, becoming a pretext for a stone-throwing, club-swinging attack targeting our office building in Istanbul.
Was the initial report on hurriyet.com.tr on Sunday evening erroneous? Actually, the initial report remained online for 10 minutes, before it was retracted and replaced by a re-edited version. As always, Hürriyet’s ombudsman, Faruk Bildirici, reviewed this controversial report carefully.
Bildirici concluded that the initial report published on hurriyet.com.tr on Sunday evening was problematic, while pointing out that Erdoğan’s “400 deputies” remarks were indeed used to refer to all incidents of instability and terror after the June 7 election. Bildirici thinks it was not a malicious mistake, but still stresses that “online journalism’s need for speed should not become a reason for such mistakes.”
From the beginning, we have always stressed that we are not afraid of facing our mistakes. It is natural for Hürriyet to take necessary steps internally about responsibility.
We express our regret for this mistake, which undoubtedly carried no malevolence. However, while putting this on the record, we should also note that we view the strong words uttered by the president on Sunday evening about the Doğan Group, which owns Hürriyet, as unacceptable.
Another thought-provoking aspect of the issue is the prominence of a ruling party MP in the first incident when our newspaper’s HQ in Istanbul was attacked with clubs and stones. There can be no place for violent protests in any civilized democratic country.
Because the president is “the president of all citizens,” as stressed frequently, we expect him to show a clear stance against this violent act. We have the same expectation from the chair of the ruling party and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.