February 16, 2015

Pro-gov’t daily brands intellectuals speaking to foreign media as ’traitors’

The pro-government Takvim daily branded Nobel laureate and Turkish author Orhan Pamuk, renowned Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz and Turkish-Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen "traitors" in its top story on Sunday for making statements to international media outlets.

Calling them "those who collaborate with the Western media," the daily mentioned Gülen's recent op-ed published by The New York Times, a statement by Prosecutor Öz to the BBC and Pamuk's recent statement to the Agence France-Presse (AFP) saying that he lives in a climate of fear in Turkey.

The news report accused Gülen of speaking to the "Jewish media whenever he gets an opportunity and smearing Turkey." The daily stated that Gülen also talked to The Washington Post, the BBC and The Wall Street Journal in the past and told them that Turkey is becoming authoritarian and diverting from democracy. According to the daily, Prosecutor Öz told the BBC that liberties no longer exist in Turkey.

Describing Pamuk as the "author who never misses a chance to defame Turkey, the daily said the Nobel laureate welcomed an AFP staff member at his home in İstanbul's Cihangir neighborhood. It claimed that Pamuk is "doing his duty in return for the Nobel Prize in Literature and badmouthed [Turkish] officials," by saying that authoritarian military tutelage has been replaced by an authoritarian government in the country.

Published on Sunday's Zaman, 15 February 2015, Sunday