Turkey’s Culture Minister slams Wikipedia for linking Erdoğan with authoritarianism
Wikipedia has come under fire from Culture Minister Ömer Çelik. AA photoWikipedia is the latest website to feel the wrath of Turkey’s government, with Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik slamming the popular Internet encyclopedia for referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an article on authoritarianism.
“Mentioning Turkey alongside the [North] Korean regime and the [Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi regime in Egypt is just a kind of operation, not an intellectual analysis,” Çelik tweeted on Sept. 14, claiming that the Wikipedia editors had an “eclipse of reason” while adding the Erdoğan reference.
As of Sept. 16, the article referred to Erdoğan after stating that “authoritarianism and democracy are not fundamentally opposed to one another.”
“It is thus definitely possible for democracies to possess strong authoritarian elements, for both feature a form of submission to authority. For instance, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, was elected three times, but shows strong authoritarian tendencies,” the Wikipedia article stated, citing more than 10 sources, from the Washington Post to the Guardian.
Çelik continued his salvoes on Twitter on Sept. 16, claiming that Wikipedia’s “reliability has reached below zero.”
“When you conduct a study of mental archaeology on people who label Turkey as authoritarian [regime] on Wikipedia and its kind, you find such documents,” Çelik said, attaching a Turkish newspaper article from 1960 in which the “world media” reportedly praised the military coup that happened in Turkey the same year as a “coup for democracy.”
While almost anyone who can access the site can edit nearly all of its articles, a 2005 survey published in Nature magazine found that Wikipedia’s level of accuracy approached Encyclopædia Britannica’s, with both having similar low rates of “serious errors.”