Press union: Turkey think tank study is ′blacklisting document′ | News | DW | 07.07.2019
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Press union: Turkey think tank study is 'blacklisting document'

The list mostly targets foreign media, including DW, for alleged bias against the Turkish government. The journalists' union has said that the list is another method of intimidation being used by Ankara.

The Journalists' Union of Turkey said on Sunday that it will file a criminal complaint against a pro-government think tank that it says is essentially blacklisting journalists working for international media.

The list, compiled by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), which has close ties to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, looked at coverage of individual journalists both on news sites and also on social media, and alleges purposeful bias against the Turkish government.

It includes Deutsche Welle, as well as the BBC, Voice of America, and Russian news agency Sputnik, amongst others.

"This alleged study is meant to discredit primarily foreign media, which is still able to objectively and independently report on Turkey," said DW spokesman Christoph Jumpelt. "The insupportable allegations against the listed journalists, including those at DW, can be regarded as an attempt to intimidate."

Reporters Without Borders also condemned what it called a "new intimidation attempt" and said it brought "harassment of foreign media correspondents to a new level."

The 202-page report claims that the various journalists have exposed their "leftist and secular" agenda, and were clearly trying to push an anti-Ankara message.

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'Police report rather than academic work'

Turkey's journalists' union also blasted the list, calling it "a serious blow to Turkish democracy, freedoms of press and expression," adding that it was a "blacklisting document like a police report rather than academic work."

SETA's director of strategic studies, Hasan Basri Yalcin, defended the report on Twitter, writing that  "no one has the right to call a report based on open sources a memorandum."

"It's our job as a Turkish think tank to scrutinize foreign media and its positions," one of the study's three authors, Ismail Caglar, said.

According to the journalists' union, 135 members of the press are currently in jail in Turkey, many of them on trumped-up charges. Many of the major newspapers and TV channels in Turkey are run by executives friendly with the government.

es/ng (dpa, AP)

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