Turkey’s deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan slammed the New York Times on Sunday for disrespecting Turkey’s democratic elections and for acting as a tool for ideological purposes of “global tutelage order” in response to an article about Turkey published in the paper on May 22.
The ominously-titled NYT piece “Dark Clouds Over Turkey’ questioned if Turkey is “still a democracy,” and called for NATO to take action by saying, “The United States and Turkey’s other NATO allies should be urging him - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan- to turn away from this destructive path.”
The article written by the editorial board mentioned the upcoming general elections on June 7 and speculated on a possible ‘crackdown’ if the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) wins the elections while attempting to advise Turkish government from refraining such speculated actions.
Akdogan said on a television programme that the NYT calling on NATO is actually a call for military action against Turkey and likened it to previous actions of “the coup-minded” of Turkey.
Drawing attention to the “contradiction” in the article, Akdogan said, “This is where distortion comes from as the New York Times claims to be democratic but calls on undemocratic actions despite the Turkish nation’s will.”
Akdogan further emphasized that such circles and their "ideological tools" -referring to newspapers, TV channels and media organs in favor of coups- are uncomfortable with a more powerful Turkey and are hard on Turkey’s government for they are no longer able to “pressure and manage” the country as they once were.
Turkey has a long history of tutelages and military interventions on its elected governments, and the media have often been accused of taking part in these actions.
Dogan Media Group that includes Hurriyet, is often claimed by AK Party officials to have played role in interventions to democracy, especially in the post-modern coup of Feb. 28 1997.
In 2011, veteran Turkish journalist and anchorman Mehmet Ali Birand who worked for Dogan Media Group for many years had admitted that central media figures including himself have supported coups in the past and that he was ashamed of his thoughts.