Yurter Özcan, the US representative for Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), claimed on Tuesday that CNN has started looking into the “poor journalism” of CNN Türk after he sent a letter to CNN International asking it to launch an inquiry into its Turkish franchise due to its violation of the basic principles of journalism.
The story was reported by the Diken news site but did not include any reaction by CNN.
CNN Türk and the Hürriyet newspaper, which are both owned by the Demirören Group, came under fire due to their distortion of remarks by Sezai Temelli, co-chairperson of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
CNN Türk misquoted Temelli as saying that if İstanbul and Ankara were won by CHP candidates in upcoming local elections, those cities would be governed not by the CHP mayors but by the HDP, when in fact Temelli said if CHP candidates get elected in those cities, they should know that they were elected by HDP votes.
“By clearly misreporting, CNN Türk aims to support the AKP’s [ruling Justice and Development Party] ultranationalist rhetoric. This is not the first case in which CNN Türk has worked as an AKP government mouthpiece spreading propaganda about the opposition,” Özcan said in his letter.
“Even though CNN Türk carries your name, it is far from living up to its reputation and even farther from following the basic yet universal principles of reporting. It would be hard to call their work journalism while across the world there are numerous journalists who risk their lives for one simple aim — reporting the truth to inform the rest of the world,” he added.
Özcan said as somebody who has lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 19 years, he knows very well that journalism has and will change the world through hard work, ethics and courage.
“I urge you to start an investigation into the CNN Türk franchise, and as you will come to the conclusion of a violation of basic principles of journalism and blatantly lying to support the AKP regime, you will immediately consider revoking their right to use the prestigious CNN name,” he added.