Is this cover for a big lie from Erdogan?


Turkey’s president Recep Tayipp Erdogan called the July 15 coup last year a gift from God and justification and it prompted an unprecedented jailing of  political opponents and members of the Turkish media. Erdogan and his allies have taken the disturbing rhetorical leap of referring to any opponent or critic as a terrorist. The greatest of these is a former ally of Erdogan’s, a reclusive cleric now living in Pennsylvania,  Muhammed Fethullah Gülen. Perhaps Erdogan’ greatest rhetorical excess has been to label Gulen followers, Gulenists or a movement known as Hizmet (The Service), collectively as a terrorist organization known as The Gulenist Terror Organization – FETO.

Erdogan, his purge of an honest, skeptical media complete, is  surrounded by sycophantic cheerleaders masquerading as journalists. Some have even gone as far as serving on a propagandist like roadtrip to European countries. It is with these allies he spoke with last month on a plane as he flew back from Africa. No Turkish daily has been friendlier to Erdogan’s crackdown on fellow journalist than Daily Sabbah. During his sit down, Erdogan offered this about Gulen:

The commercial dimension of ties with the U.S. was equally important, he argued. “There were many joint military defense projects between the two countries. Will there be such cooperation in the future or will the commercial ties be based on the ‘you are the market and I’m the dealer’ mentality? Our attitude is that further cooperation on joint projects will be of mutual advantage.”The extradition of Fetullah Gülen, the mastermind behind the coup attempt on July 15 last year and the leader of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), from the U.S. to Turkey will definitely be one of the topics of discussion with Trump, Erdoğan noted, adding, “We will ask the fate of the boxes of evidence we sent to American authorities to start the extradition process.”

Scathing Purple Musings emboldened the last line as it essentially serves as breaking news. Western news outlets are unaware of “boxes of evidence” or any evidence for that matter that Gulen and/or any of his followers are terrorists.

Up until the end August of 2016, even Turkey was admitting they had not sent any evidence that Gulen was engaged in terrorism. No subsequent news reports on the matter appear to exist until Daily Sabbah’s interview with Erdogan was published on January 26. Moreover, it is Daily Sabbah which just four days after the Erdogan interview published a story about those boxes.

Following the newly sworn-in U.S. President Donald Trump taking over the oval office, Turkey’s Justice Ministry has sent further evidence linking Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen to the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, despite having already sent four different comprehensive files to the U.S. Department of Justice back in October 2016.While Gülen’s terrorist network, which formed a quasi-state within the Turkish state and attempted to topple the government with the ultimate intent to take over the state, continues to conduct its operations in the U.S., the former Barack Obama administration chose to remain idle and take no action against the U.S.-based terror leader despite President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ’s determined efforts.

So around six weeks after the Turkish government admitted they had not provided any evidence of Gulen’s terrorism they sent evidence to the US Department of Justice. And remarkably, no western media reporter got wind of it. The Daily Sabbah is indeed breaking news.

Or are they?

Clearly Daily Sabbah reporters were aware that there were no new reports that Turkey had turned over any evidence regarding Gulen to the US in their  efforts to extradite him, yet their follow-up story makes no mention of the aside that Erdogan gave them on the plane four days before. They should have and to not do so in their story is at best sloppy journalism, but their omission now makes them part of the story.

And quite a story it is. Striking details of the evidence within the investigation and their “expectations from the Trump administration” includes names and travel plans of the conspirators to meet with Gulen. Documents assert that Gulen officially gave the go ahead for the coup just three days before its execution. This stunning evidence comes from an anonymous  witness code-named “Kuzgun.” Another named “Sapka” is also prominent.

Daily Sabbah’s journalistic bias is clear and easily outed by a high school journalism class. Only within the lexicon of Erdogan’s loyalist  media – the ones not thrown in jail – is “Gulenist Terror Group (FETÖ) leader Fetullah Gülen” published without “alleged” or “suspected” or “reported.” Daily Sabbah and Hurriyet Daily News, who also got the story obviously enjoy the favor of the Erdogan administration.

There is little difference between the two stories. They both look like press releases. Neither contain any detail from what’s called a  1300 page FETO file. Nor does either story provide any corroborating quote from an official from the US Department of Justice.

An acknowledgement from the US Department of Justice of the receipt of the 1300 page file is overdue. The fact than any mention of one from the two dailies freindly to the Erdogan goverment puts them in peril of being accussed of trafficing propaganda on behalf of Erdogan  or what’s come to be called fake news in the US. Or are they providing some sort of cover for a big lie from Erdogan?

 

 

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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