Ethical void at the heart of Western press coverage of Turkey
Date: 2016-07-31 13:26
Adam McConnell begins his article in Anadolu Agency by referring to a headline of a BBC article published only a day after last Friday’s failed military coup, which read: “Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Turkey’s Ruthless President”
The writer explains his astonishment regarding the Western press’ ability to publish ridiculous items on Turkey on a daily basis, arguing that how can Erdogan be a ruthless president when “opposing a military coup instigated by cultists ensconced in Turkish state institutions.”
“The coup was carried out against a democratically elected government, yet newspapers and commentators in democracies such the U.S. openly cheered the coup attempt,” the writer argues, mentioning the New York Times’s “we don’t know what’s happening” narrative which later attacked Erdogan and provided space for conspiracy theories.
“Blaming the victim has never been carried out on such an international scale,” the writer argues.
Further, the writer explains that following the apparent failure of the juntas, “the Western press narrative switched back to the “dictator Erdogan” theme,” mentioning the Business Insider as an example. Meanwhile, other Western media outlets blatantly reported false rumors as facts, the writer states, providing The Daily Beast and Fox News as examples. The writer also mentioned those who immediately developed conspiracy theories, like The Independent, which accused Erdogan of perpetrating the coup himself.
“The stances taken and information published constitute gross violations of journalistic ethics,” the writer argues.
The writer then explains that the West’s inability to understand the Muslim world was greatly reflected in its press, adding that “today’s Western press coverage of Turkey is that people who consider themselves “liberals” or even “progressives” fall victim to fear and a lack of real information about Turkish society, history, and politics.”
The writer concludes by stating: “Most Turkish people now have little regard for the Western press because of the blind and uninformed negative attitude taken towards Turkey’s political leadership.”