jeudi 30 octobre 2014

Turquie, EI et PKK : quand les médias dérapent au détriment de l'éthique journalistique


    Yıldıray Oğur
    Published : 29.10.2014 23:52:49 (...)

The news article begins, "Correction: In a piece dated Oct. 14 and titled 'Signs of sympathy for Islamic State group rattle Istanbul,' the Associated Press erroneously referred to the city as the capital. Ankara is Turkey's capital. Istanbul is its largest city," using an alternative name for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). It is a correction that leads one to think, "What's the point in reading the rest of the news?"

But almost every sentence of a piece by this U.S.-based newsgathering organization – the largest in the world with 1,700 newspapers and around 3,000 TV stations as subscribers – which is read by millions of people, is full of such examples of ignorance that require correction.
One cannot be sure if ignorance is the right word here. It seems that distortion, disinformation and violation of the most basic principles of news reporting would be more appropriate terms.

The AP's news article was written by Raphael Satter and Işıl Sarıyüce in Istanbul. As can be understood from the first sentence of that scandalous correction, the piece claims to follow the traces of "ISIS in Istanbul."

But it is a bit more assertive than that. The title reads: "Signs of sympathy for Islamic State group rattle Istanbul." According to the piece, signs of sympathy for ISIS pervade Istanbul.

So what are these signs of ISIS sympathy that rattled Istanbul? The first sign is detected in an incident at Istanbul University's Faculty of Literature on Sept. 26 on which the piece was based.

In the video version of the AP's news, there is a group of masked persons shouting the takbir "allahu akbar" – God is great – and overturning tables and billboards. According to a girl who set up a booth and hung posters about Kobani, these were ISIS sympathizers. There is no need at all to know that the PKK's youth arm for universities was involved in this incident. The AP piece says "alleged," but who else can the masked persons be if they shout "allahu akbar" and attack the protest over Kobani? The correspondents did not ask the masked persons who they were.

The group that attacked the protest in question is known as Muslim Students. It doesn't have any ideological or organizational relation to ISIS. This is a small group claiming to be the successor of that well-known Islamic youth organization called Muslim Youth, which has been around since the days when ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was a boy in Baghdad. The only thing they do in an organized manner is to issue warnings first about posters or actions they deem insulting to Islam, and then attack. They attacked the Kobani stand because they thought Islam was insulted under the pretext of railing against ISIS. ISIS is not even among the groups they support in Syria. But why bother with so many details? They were ISIS sympathizers who rattled Istanbul.

However, that small student group was not sufficient as evidence for a news article claiming ISIS pervaded everywhere in Istanbul. The AP's correspondents thus arrived at a small bookshop in no time, which they said was a few blocks away from the university. Wherever they looked they saw ISIS. There were magazines with Osama bin Laden on their cover, black-and-white jihadi flags and books at the bookshop, Küresel Kitap (Global Books), owned by Osman Akyıldız. But where was ISIS exactly?

A caption below a photograph taken at the bookshop reads "ISIS flag." The flag is the white version of ISIS's black flag and with golden hemstitches. Jihad flags have been black for 1,400 years since the Prophet Muhammad's jihad flag called "ar-Raya" was black. Again, when we remember that ISIS was motivated by a hadith about "people of the black flag," I don't think they also use the white, or female, version of that flag. In fact, as one looks at the other photographs of signs of ISIS taken at the bookshop, it can be thought that the AP's correspondents believe the Seal of Prophet Muhammad is a creation of pro-ISIS designers. But they walked around places near the original seal that is used on the ISIS flag. Fortunately they didn't go to the Topkapı Palace a few blocks away from the bookshop and visit the Chamber of Sacred Relics. Otherwise they might have included the seal at the end of a letter sent by the Prophet Muhammad to Muqawqis on the list of ISIS signs in Istanbul. On the other black-and-white flag they photographed as a sign ISIS, there is the shahada, or statement of faith – "la ilaha illallah muhammedun rasulullah" (There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.) And the green color of this flag is that of Saudi Arabia, the country whose jets bomb ISIS positions.

Besides, information about the owner of Küresel Kitap, Osman Akyıldız, is only one Google search away. Akyıldız, who has translated the works of jihadi theorist Maqdisi – a figure who attacks ISIS more fiercely than the U.S. – into Turkish, is close to anti-ISIS jihadi groups. He was even arrested sometime last year by the police in Istanbul, "in the city ISIS pervades."

Osman Akyıldız complained that the AP article did not include his criticism of ISIS: "The AP does everything it can to not publish the original version of their interview with me. Although I openly stated in that interview that I don't embrace ISIS's practices, they portrayed me as an ISIS sympathizer. They told me they would put corrections on their website. If they don't, I will take legal action."

So the AP piece is 0-for-2. Of course, they also went to the "ISIS gift shop" in the Bağcılar district, which also appeared in Turkish news. The shop, which sold t-shirts with sharp jihadi slogans, had to hang a sign on its door that read, "We are not affiliated with any group." The owner was forced to close down the shop due to pressures by neighbors and the police. Now it's 0-for-3 regarding the signs of sympathy for ISIS that pervaded everywhere in Istanbul.

The correspondents included the comment of a totally impartial Kemalist-Neocon academic, who is a descendant of the Afghan royal family who is unrelated to the event, in the piece that had occasional side notes like, "A few scattered sightings of Islamic State group paraphernalia in a sprawling city of 14 million people do not necessarily indicate significant support." In that case, why the news: "It all starts with those signs."

But the article, which contains totally groundless claims and which labels everyone it comes up against as "ISIS sympathizers" while trying to seem to be not doing that, ends with the words of a student who is shaken by the fear of ISIS: "What can you feel when an organization that terrorizes the Middle East enters your school?"

What can we say? We hope the coalition forces that read the AP article would not strike Istanbul University's Faculty of Literature, too.
According to U.S. media outlets, however, Turkey attacks the Kurds who are fighting ISIS.

For example, in an article by Tim Arango and Şebnem Arsu in The New York Times:

When Turkish jets patrolling the Syrian border bombed PKK militants who had attacked the Dağlıca Guard Post with anti-aircraft machine guns, the newspaper reported the event in such a manner: "In the face of increasing international pressure, Turkey took decisive military action on Monday – not against the Islamic State militants that Turkey's Western allies have urged it to fight, but rather against the Kurdish militant group that has been battling the Islamic State.

Turkey hits the Kurdish groups battling ISIS. Even a look at Dağlıca on a map, which is kilometers away from Kobani to the east near the Turkish-Iranian border, is enough to see the distortion and ulterior motives in the news; of course, if you could find information that the bombing followed an attack on a guard post. Besides, even the PKK leadership in Northern Iraq's Qandil Mountains did not get as disturbed by the incident, which it said hadn't left anyone dead, as much as The New York Times did. More bad news for The New York Times: The incident did not put an end to the cease-fire as part of the resolution process.

According to a news article in The Wall Street Journal by Emre Peker, who described the incident as the end of the cease-fire, over 36 people were killed in clashes with police during the Kobani protests:

To write this piece, one should not have heard the stories published for days in the Turkish media about people who had been killed by PKK sympathizers for being bearded or pro-ISIS. Again, it should not be known that most of those killed had lost their lives at the hands of PKK sympathizers or in clashes with members of Islamist associations. A media campaign full of ignorance, distortion, and disinformation has begun in U.S. media outlets simultaneously with the Barack Obama administration's tussle with Ankara over ISIS.
I think we have seen a movie with a similar theme. What was it? – "Sex, Lies and Videotape." No, no – "Wag the Dog."

* Columnist at Türkiye daily"

Source :

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RAPPEL : la Turquie a déjà bombardé à plusieurs reprises les positions de l’Etat islamique (EIIL)

La lutte de l'Etat turc contre l'afflux de djihadistes étrangers : environ 3.600 interdictions d'entrée et 1.000 expulsions

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Syrie : la lutte turco-belge contre les recruteurs salafistes

La collaboration entre les services turcs et occidentaux pour intercepter les djihadistes

Syrie : davantage de djihadistes en provenance de Russie et de France que de Turquie (pays majoritairement musulman et contigu)

Les Kurdes et l'EIIL