Turkish state-owned Anadolu Agency will sue a Greek media outlet after it claimed that journalists sent by the Turkish media organisation to Kastellorizo island were in fact agents of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
Tourkika Nea, which specialises in translating Turkish news into Greek, revealed on their Twitter that Anadolu Agency will being suing them for revealing that their journalists were intelligence agents and releasing the agents personal information.
— tourkikanea.gr (@Dw59lVxwaBm0wu8) September 4, 2020
On Wednesday, Tourkika Nea reported that journalists Tevfik Durul and Ayhan Mehmet had arrived in Rhodes to get a connecting ferry to Kastellorizo. Both Rhodes and Kastellorizo in recent months have been under intense scrutiny from the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for their hilarious claims that those two islands and the others comprising of the Dodacanese are in fact not Greek islands, but rather Turkish and occupied by Greece.
As Tourkika Nea highlighted, “it should be noted that in Turkey, all civil servants in Turkey are now legally obliged to assist the Turkish Intelligence Service.”
It has even been revealed by Nordic Monitor that the MIT carry out their work from the Turkish embassies and consulates in Greece, something that goes against international law.
Speaking live on CNN Türk, Anadolu Agency correspondent Tefik Durul described what he experienced: “We came to the island as Anadolu agency. [Wednesday] night we arrived on the island by boat. When we arrived on the island as certified AA [Anadolu Agency] journalists, an anti-Turkish website, with provocative rhetoric,targeted me and my photojournalist friend.”
“They presented a provocative news stating that we are MIT agents and that we came to the island for another purpose. They posted a photo of my passport. For this reason after this incident, we were not able to see anything, after all it was dark last night. Today [Thursday] a calm environment prevails. The Greek authorities and the police advised us not to go out. Until now, we have not been faced with any negative situation with the inhabitants of the island, because we did not have the opportunity to go out.”
Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun criticized Greece for releasing confidential information about the journalists to a website.
“You will pay the price if those Turkish reporters come in harm’s way. Nobody can silence Anadolu Agency, whose staff work in the most hostile environments, through threats, intimidation or the publication of their personal information,” Altun said on Twitter.
My message to Greece is as follows: You will pay the price if those Turkish reporters come in harm’s way.
Nobody can silence Anadolu Agency, whose staff work in the most hostile environments, through threats, intimidation or the publication of their personal information.
— Fahrettin Altun (@fahrettinaltun) September 2, 2020
“We condemn the Greek authorities’ efforts to incite violence, through a fascist website, against AA journalists in [Kastellorizo]. That Greek journalists work freely in Turkey, which the EU loves to lecture on press freedom, as Greece, an EU member, acts like a mafia state is worth noting,” Altun added.
Turkey is one of the lowest ranked countries for media freedoms in the world, is the second most susceptible country surveyed on the European continent and its surrounds to fake news, has the most journalists jailed in the whole world, and 90% of media is government controlled.
This of course makes Altun’s rant laughable considering his attempts to portray that journalists were physically or verbally attacked was completely untrue.