Turkish, U.S. presidents berate the other’s favoured news channel

The leaders of Turkey and the United States took shots at the other’s favoured news network on Tuesday, accusing the channels of fabricating stories when the presidents were challenged on their honesty.

When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was asked by Fox News reporter Barış Kaya for a response to criticisms by the opposition that he downplayed the number of soldiers being killed in Libya, the president said that "Fox should first become a proper news organisation.”

“Stop producing fake news," he said to Fox News, a news channel owned by American media mogul Rupert Murdoch and strongly supported by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Fox News anchorman Fatih Portakal later defended his outlet, which has been critical of the Turkish government in recent years, during a news broadcast.

"We do not engage in fake news,” Portakal said. “If you claim [what Kaya said] is a lie, then take it to court."

Meanwhile, Trump sparred with Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, after the journalist challenged the U.S. president’s honesty about not wanting help from Russia in the upcoming 2020 election during a press conference in India.

Trump said he did not want nor was given help on the matter, then cheekily asked Acosta if CNN apologised “for the fact that they said certain things that weren’t true?”

"I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours," Acosta said.

"You probably have the worst record in the history of broadcasting," Trump shot back.

CNN Türk, a media outlet licensed to use the CNN brand in Turkey, was accused of pro- Erdoğan political coverage and other unethical practises last year.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) announced two weeks ago it will boycott CNN Türk for censorship and broadcasting false news about the party.