Turkish Deputy PM Numan Kurtulmuş tells media to ‘watch its step’
ANKARAThe media should be on alert against the “propaganda power of terrorism” and will have to “watch its step,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Feb. 23, state-run Anadolu agency has reported.
“We should define terrorist organizations through a terminology that is accepted by the public. There are no ‘heads,’ ‘representatives,’ or ‘imams’ of terrorist organizations. They are terrorists. They are all murderous gangs that are against humanity, no matter whether they are the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party)], DEASH [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] or FETÖ [the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization],” Kurtulmuş added.
“I am saying very clearly that the media will have to watch its steps. I was criticized when I said this before, but I’m sorry, in a country that is struggling against terrorism the media cannot be a fun farm. Nobody can act on behalf of terrorist organizations in the media. Some media outlets are still using the terminology of terrorist organizations,” he said.
Kurtulmuş also referred to the situation in Iraq and Syria, saying the roots of the problem date back to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
‘Shia militants,’ ‘Turkmen militants,’ ‘Arab militants,’ ‘Turkish-Kurdish terror groups,’ [the media] uses these kinds of definitions to make it seem like a civil war is going on. But the fight in Mosul is not a fight between Turks, Kurds, Arabs and Sunnis and Shias,” he said.
Kurtulmuş also said the Western media “avoided using terrorist groups’ names in Mosul,” also referring to examples where the “media should take a stand” including the December 2016 assassination of the former Russian ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov.
“The assassin, a pawn of FETÖ, killed the envoy and shouted out slogans. Our unconscious TV stations unfortunately continued to air those scenes for many minutes,” he said.
“Does the RTÜK [Turkish media watchdog] need to impose a coverage ban on the situation? The media should itself be conscious,” he added.