Pro-gov’t think tank accused of profiling journos says EU funded new report

A leading Turkish pro-government think tank, which received international condemnation over a recent report effectively blacklisting journalists working with international media, has announced that the EU has financed its latest report.

The Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) on Friday shared the report titled ‘’European Islam phobia Report 2018,’' and said the work had been financed by the EU Civil Society Dialogue Program, which brings together civil society organisations from Turkey and the EU.

The 848-page comprehensive analysis, which points to soaring Islamophobia throughout Europe, features the interior ministers of Germany and Italy, as well as the former interior minister of Austria on its cover.

The report addresses the rise of right-wing politics in Europe and what it calls the co-option of Islamophobia among centrist European parties. 

Islam phobic terror, violent acts against Muslims in Europe and Islam phobic statements by politicians are also covered in the SETA’s latest report. 

Journalists, foundations and journalism unions denounced a report published by SETA in July for criminalising journalism by using intelligence-gathering tactics.

The report titled "The Turkey extensions of the international media organisations" gave detailed information on journalists working with numerous prominent news sources, including BBC Turkish, Deutsche Welle Turkish and Euronews.

Journalists’ social media postings, the content of their stories and the level of their engagement on social media platforms were included in the report. 

SETA, for its part, said the report "aims to understand how Turkey is depicted in global arena as well as to identify the political circumstances around which the perception of those international media organizations is shaped."

Reporters Without Borders, one of the international organisations which condemned the report, said, it "brought the harassment of foreign media reporters to a whole new level.’’