The Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) in a statement on Wednesday condemned anti-Semitic attacks by Turkey’s pro-government media outlets on Karel Valansi, a Turkish journalist and foreign policy analyst.
Valansi was targeted by the Takvim daily, which accused her of “protecting the Zionist terror state of Israel” following a tweet about unrest in Jerusalem. Valansi had shared reports of clashes between Hamas supporters and Israeli security forces.
The paper claimed that Valansi did not criticize the attack by Israel’s security forces on the Muslims in Al-Aqsa Mosque, sharing one of her tweets from 2017 in which Valansi had said: “One can protest against the policies of a country. But protesting a country in front of a house of worship is unacceptable.” She was referring to a 2017 protest in front of the Neve Şalom synagogue in İstanbul.
“We stand with Karel and demand an apology [to] her. Nobody’s religion, language or race can be the subject of such attacks,” CFWIJ’s statement said. “We call on all news organizations to use a language that can lead to equality, justice and prioritizes human rights.”
The CFWIJ fosters and supports solidarity between women journalists around the globe.
Takvim had launched anti-Semitic attacks against Valansi before, on March 18, in a report critical of İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu.
The report, headlined “[İmamoğlu] shows animosity to a Turk but great politeness to a Jew,” accused İmamoğlu of threatening a person who claimed he was next of kin of a veteran during a ceremony earlier that day. It said İmamoğlu “showed too much respect to a Jewish journalist working in Turkey.”
Takvim’s report was referring to an exchange between İmamoğlu and Valansi on Twitter. In a tweet commemorating the 106th anniversary of the Turkish victory at Gallipoli, İmamoğlu mentioned different ethnic and religious groups that he said made the victory possible but did not mention the Jews. In response, Valansi said, “We are once again not invited to the wedding.”
İmamoğlu then replied to Valansi and said she was right. “Just like our Jewish citizens, people from all religions and identities who fought at Gallipoli for our independence are noble citizens and owners of this homeland,” he said.