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10.6.13

"The New York Times" Responds to Turkish PM’s Criticism over Gezi Park Ad

The New York Times has said it accepts advertisements “from all advocacy groups who wish to share their opinions” in response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s criticism over a full-page ad placed in the newspaper by Gezi Park supporters.
“We publish this type of advertising because we believe in the First Amendment, which affords us the right to publish news and editorials, but just as important, guarantees the public’s right to be heard,” the New York Times said in a written statement to daily Hürriyet published on June 8.
“Our advertising department and our newsroom are completely distinct operations and the newsroom has nothing to do with the placement or acceptance of advertising messages,” it also added.
The prime minister targeted the foreign media during a speech June 7, accusing foreign outlets of “running stories based on orders with ideological approaches.”
The ad run under the title “What’s Happening in Turkey” and supported the popular resistance following the protests in Gezi Park, while issuing several demands, such as the end of police brutality, the start of democratic dialogue and a freer media.

Times’ Answer Filled My Eyes with Tears: EU Minister
EU Minister Egemen Bağış, who lived for years in the United States, chided the New York Times over its decision to publish the ad.
“When I read the New York Times answer with a mention to the First Amendment, I had tears in my eyes, I was really touched,” Bağış told daily Hürriyet, adding that when he was lobbying in the United States, the broadsheet had refused to print an ad that said “A systematic Armenian Genocide did not take place.”
“They have made an incomplete statement. They should have said ‘We only support the ads of advocacy groups that we want, on subjects that we want.’ I experienced this personally when I lived in the United States. I saw how libertarian the American media was with concrete experiences,” he said, adding that they never managed to print their ads on the Armenian or other issues. (*)
“We were also a nongovernmental organization. We also wanted to express our freedom of thought. But when it came to hear our voices, their ears went deaf. All the doors were closed. How come they have become so sensitive to a problem inside Turkey?”  

"Hurriyet Daily News," June 9, 2013

(*) Minister Egemen Bağış, whose denialist rants are regularly the subject of the press, has conveniently forgotten the notorious 1985 full-page advertisement in The New York Times and The Washington Post urging the U.S. Congress not to pass a resolution recognizing the genocide as such—with the names of 69 scholars who questioned the appropriateness of using the word “genocide” to refer to “Armenian suffering” during World War I. The ad was taken out by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) ("Armeniaca").

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