Turkish media censors ‘terrorists’ from news about Putin-Erdoğan telephone call

The Kremlin on Tuesday evening issued a readout of a telephone call between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

The Russian statement said that they “expressed deep concern over the ongoing hostilities and the increasing involvement of Middle East terrorists.”

However the Russian statement was censored by the Turkish press, including the newspaper Hurriyet.

The Kremlin's statement added to Russia's deep concern about the ongoing war in Karabakh and the growing participation of “terrorists” sent from the Middle East to this region - again, in the words of the Kremlin - in the war.”

Meanwhile, Erdogan supported media in Turkey, including once respectable and mainstream Hurriyet however paraphrased much of the Russian statement, but notably omitted mention of Russia’s concern about the “involvement of Middle East terrorists”. 

The call between the two leaders was requested by the Turkish side after Russia bombed a training camp in the rebel-held Idlib province, where Turkey has been supporting militia groups opposed to the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. 

The camp targeted by Russian bombs was held by Faylaq al-Sham, with 78 fighters reported killed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

After the call between Putin and Erdoğan, the Turkish President criticised Russia in a speech to parliament.

Turkish state-run broadcaster TRT said on Tuesday that the airstrike in Idlib was being used to gain leverage over Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Turkish support for Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh has been seen as crucial to the Azeri progress in winning territory held by the breakaway Armenian republic.

Hürriyet's censorship on Kremlin statement first noted by Russia expert and Ahval contributor Dr. Kerim Has via his Twitter post. Has said, “Hurriyet censored The Kremlin."