Turkey's stories about jailed U.S. citizens are fake news - Washington Post

Turkey's pro-government media and courts are accusing U.S. citizens of made-up charges as part of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's campaign to put blame on the United States for last year's coup attempt, Washington Post senior editor Jackson Diehl wrote.

The latest victim is Henri Barkey, a 63-year-old professor, who happened to be in Turkey before the coup attempt for an academic meeting.

That meeting was painted as a coup plot on Turkey's pro-government media channels. Barkey said at the time that:

The accusations leveled at me and the other participants in our workshop – in the absence of any evidence – are cynical attempts to blame Washington and bully the United States.

Diehl explained how Turkish citizens, including philanthropist and liberal activist Osman Kavala and local U.S. consulate employee Metin Topuz, are accused of being linked to Barkey. Both men are in jail pending trial on coup-related charges.

“Knowing me is enough to send someone to jail for life.” Barkey said.

The Post piece goes on to explain how such fake news is created for political gain by Erdoğan in Turkey, President Vladimir Putin in Russia, and President Donald Trump in the U.S., quoting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım himself:

Sometimes perception becomes more important than facts.