Turning a Blind Eye: Pro-Government Turkish Media Ignores Russian Evidence

A man reads Cumhuriyet, the leading pro-secular Turkish newspaper

Turning a Blind Eye: Pro-Government Turkish Media Ignores Russian Evidence

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Middle East

22:52 03.12.2015(updated 23:09 03.12.2015) Get short URL

Turkish pro-government media outlets have chosen to ignore the recent statements made by Russian Defense Ministry regarding Daesh oil smuggling to Turkey, which caused a negative reaction among the Turkish audience.

The official websites of the large pro-government Turkish newspapers completely ignored the press briefing held by the Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday, when Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov presented evidence of Turkey’s cooperation with Daesh (the group is also known as ISIL) militants and the involvement of President Ergodan’s family members in the illegal oil trade with the terrorist group.

The news outlets that did actually cover the briefing chose to censor those statements made by the Russian Defense Ministry that were deemed as “too rough” in order to avoid angering President Erdogan.

The Hurriyet newspaper, the so called ‘flagship’ of the Turkish media, failed to publish the report about the briefing on its website, eventually only putting a small article out regarding the US’ reaction.

Outraged readers created a “Hurriyet newspaper censorship of December 2, 2015” headline at the Ekşi Sözlük social media website.

Commentary posted on Ekşi Sözlük

“They don’t understand that thanks to Erdogan’s pressure their newspaper will become a mere governmental fact sheet. People will stop trusting it, and no one will read it,” said one of the website users in a commentary posted under the headline.

“There’s no reason left now to follow Turkish media. If you want to get access to credible information, you need to read foreign press and only a small number of local newspapers. This is today’s reality,” echoed another website user.

Commentary posted on Ekşi Sözlük

Milliyet, another major Turkish newspaper, followed suit and ignored the revelations made by the Russian Defense Ministry.

Meanwhile, both newspapers published articles about Syrian Turkmen who are ‘being killed by Russian bombs.’

Only a single pro-government newspaper, Star, published an article about the Russian Defense Ministry briefing on the front page, though it focused its attention on the US officials’ reactions who sought to discredit the  evidence presented.

Meanwhile, the leftist news portal SoL did cover the briefing, pointing out that the West also has proof of the oil trade between Daesh and Turkey. SoL sought to attract the readers’ attention to the fact that many Turkish pro-government media outlets attempted to suppress the reports of the statements made by Russia.

Another leftist media outlet, a newspaper called BirGun, published an article called “The Oil Brotherhood of Daesh and AKP”, arguing that ‘Erdogan trusted NATO who decided to shoot down a Russian plane and has backed himself into a corner.’


Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday that Turkey is the main consumer of illegal oil from Syria and Iraq, accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family of direct involvement in the oil business of Daesh.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said that Russia would hand the United Nations and all interested countries solid proof of Turkey’s involvement in illicit oil trade with terrorists.


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