A statement by the Communications Directorate said Communications Director Fahrettin Altun wrote to the New York Times pointing out Turkey's virus mortality rate was far lower than the countries praised by the media establishment in an editorial.

Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun in a letter to New York Times criticised the paper for ignoring Ankara's success in the war against Covid-19.
Turkey's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun in a letter to New York Times criticised the paper for ignoring Ankara's success in the war against Covid-19. (AA)

Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun in a letter to The New York Times criticised an opinion piece written by its editorial board for ignoring Turkey’s success against the novel coronavirus.

“Fahrettin Altun forced The New York Times to correct its mistake by writing a letter to the newspaper, which has been defaming Turkey at every opportunity and ignored Turkey’s success against the virus in their editorial,” said a statement by the Communications Directorate. 

The statement added that NYT had failed to mention Turkey’s successful fight against the coronavirus in the April 30 editorial titled ‘In a crisis, true leaders stand out’ and praised some countries in the fight against the virus, especially Germany. 

In his letter, Altun responded to the paper with figures. 

“While you praise Germany as a success story in which the mortality rate is 83 per million due to the virus, it is remarkable that you did not mention Turkey in your article, where the number is around 40,” said the statement. 

Stating that the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made billions of dollars worth of investments in the health system since 2002, Altun emphasised that due to these investments, many more cases have been prevented and more than 60,000 citizens have been successfully treated. 

He reminded that public institutions have distributed free masks to all citizens by taking the necessary steps in cooperation with the private sector and added that Turkey has delivered aid and equipment to 57 countries including the US. 

The statement added that The New York Times having to publish Altun's letter was interpreted as an acknowledgement of the mistake.

Source: AA