Turkey’s pro-gov’t media target German journalist over interview with opposition leader

Frank Nordhausen‏, an İstanbul-based German journalist, has become the latest victim and target of Turkey’s pro-government media outlets over his interview with the main opposition Republican Peoples’ Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu on Wednesday.

“Good morning, dear followers. Unfortunately I am getting attacked by pro gov’t media b/c I interviewed Kemal Kılıçdaroğlı for Focus magazine. Turkish pro gov’t media disseminate lies & absurd allegations against me. I declare: I am a journalist doing his job. Independent & critical. Reminder: My retweets are NOT endorsements. I am critical. But I also retweet positive news on Erdoğan and AKP. And: I hate terror. Unfortunately mainstream journalism in #Turkey has reached a level that is beyond all rules and concepts of our profession. Shameful,” Nordhausen wrote in a series of tweets on Thursday.

Pro-government daily Star declared Nordhausen a spy who replaced jailed German reported Deniz Yücel, on Thursday. Meanwhile, Akşam echoed the same remarks in a front-page article with the title “Frankeştayn.”

Nordhaused interviewed Kılıçdaroğlu for the German magazine Focus where he asked the opposition leader whether German nationals were right to be afraid of travelling to Turkey as they might get arrested because of wearing the wrong T-shirt or making the wrong joke.

Kılıçdaroğlu said he must establish that there is indeed such an atmosphere. On Thursday, CHP denied that Kılıçdaroğlu warned German travelers against Turkey while Nordhaused tweeted the same day: “As I already wrote: According to German journalistic custom the interview was sent to CHP and officially approved before being printed.”

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 276 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 9, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 252 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 110 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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