Turkish journalist Ilhan Tanir condemned what he characterized as CNN Turk’s inadequate coverage of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a Wednesday episode of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“CNN Turk now just addressing the latest election coverage that we just finished at March 1. But one problem, there is just one problem, this problem with CNN Turk, the way that they are reflecting Turkish politics, it is basically a mock of the Turkish government that has been going on for years,” Tanir explained.
The journalist then went on to explain that the problems began when a new family took over CNN’s sister network and fired respected journalists. He also explained that this isn’t the first time that the family has destroyed a news outlet and turned it into one favorable to the Erdogan government, creating a chain of outlets dedicated to propaganda-style coverage.
Tucker then clarified, “I’m confused. CNN Turk, you say, is a mouthpiece for the anti-American authoritarian government of Turkey, which indicts journalists, including you, but CNN lends its brand to this channel? Why would CNN do that?” The journalist responded that CNN is making money as a result of their decision to allow CNN Turk to continue to use their name. (RELATED: Erdogan Uses New Zealand Mosque Shootings To Condemn The Whole World)
Carlson then asked what the journalist would say to CNN head Jeff Zucker if he had the chance to share his concerns about CNN Turk’s reporting standards.
“Look, it is killing journalism, your Turkish sister is killing journalism,” Tanir replied. “They are covering wall-to-wall the Turkish government propaganda, which since 2016 shut down about 200 media organizations. Mr. Erdogan is still the country, Turkey is still the country, that jails the most journalists in the world. For the last three-four years. And your outlet in Turkey is basically propagating for this government. So how can you let this go forever?” Tanir asked before concluding, “He should apologize for what has been going on for the last several years. And he should, as soon as he gets investigating, he has to do something about it.”
The Washington Post editorial board, in March 2018, called the Turkish president out for his behavior as a dictator. “Gradually but inexorably, a nation that once aspired to be an exemplar of enlightened moderation is being transformed by Mr. Erdogan into a dreary totalitarian prison.”
The op-ed came after Erdogan sentenced 23 journalists to prison after they were alleged to be affiliated with terrorist groups. “Turkey once had a robust, independent press, but Mr. Erdogan has waged a multi-front campaign: closing media outlets, forcing others into new ownership, and using friendly judges and prosecutors. In the latest cases, some reporters and editors were convicted for what they said on Twitter,” the editorial reads.
Despite that criticism, the Post still published an op-ed from Erdogan himself in March of this year, a move that Jeffrey McCall, a professor of communications at DePauw University, criticized at the time. “Erdogan makes a solid point that all murderers or terrorists of innocent people should be treated alike and equally condemned. Letting Erdogan come off as all righteous, however, given his track record of curtailing free expression in his own country, is quite unnecessary,” he told The Daily Caller.