The international news agency Reuters has published an important news-research file on the state of the media in Turkey. “Insider information revealed how Erdogan aligned the Turkish press.” titled research put a lens on the government’s relations with the media in Turkey.
Reuters Turkey bureau chief Jonathan Spicer, who prepared the news-research file, wrote that the officials affiliated to Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun saw screenshots showing that Whatsapp messages were regularly sent to the news centers of the media organizations for news about the government.
The Presidential Communications Directorate denied such allegations as interference with the broadcasting line of various press organizations or indoctrination to these publications. However, Reuters stated that they had access to screenshots from the Presidential Communications Directorate that some press organizations had sent Whatsapp messages to their editorial offices.
According to screenshots seen by Reuters, it has been claimed that officials under Fahrettin Altun regularly send WhatsApp messages to the editorial offices of media outlets. “In these messages, officials send directives to newspaper management to refrain from commenting on the government or AKP executives, or which news to highlight.”
In the stunning news-research file that reveals how the press has become dependent on the government in Turkey, it was also described with witness statements that not only the Presidential Communications Directorate, but also AKP deputies constantly called the news centers.
Some reporters said that AKP deputies constantly called news centers and gave instructions that some of their speeches should be published in newspapers or that their forms of expression should be changed.
One of these reporters also testified that the Communications Directorate routinely reviewed and changed newspaper headlines or some parts of articles in newspapers, ‘they were told that they had to coordinate with them’.