Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera providing misinformation on Turkey’s Syria offensive - TRT World

Both Qatari Al Jazeera and the Saudi Al Arabiya in their English coverage have represented Turkey’s military offensive in Syria in an inaccurate and unfair manner, Turkey’s state-run TRT World said on Friday. 

Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish-held territories in northern Syria was launched on Oct. 9 and ended after nine days as the Turkish government secured separate deals with the United States and Russia for the withdrawal of Kurdish militia from regions along its borders.

Turkey sees the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule inside Turkey since 1984. 

Since 2017, Turkey and Qatar have formed a political and economic alliance against gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia, competing to expand influence in the Middle East and North Africa. 

TRT World said, given the tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia following the Qatar blockade in 2017 and the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year in Istanbul, the Dubai-based Al Arabiya’s coverage of Turkish offensive was understandable to a certain extent. 

But “Al Jazeera’s becomes more difficult to explain,” TRT World said, adding that Turkey and Qatar were allies, and the Turkish diplomatic intervention during 2017 blockade had prevented Qatar’s collapse against Saudi-led aggression.

“With a few exceptions, their coverage has fallen in line with the false narratives found in Western outlets - That Turkey is at war with the Kurdish people (or their legitimate representatives), that Turkey is looking to occupy land for the sake of expansionism, and that Turkey’s objectives are in line with those of extremists,” TRT World said about Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera. 

“Other problematic aspects of the coverage include the parroting of YPG talking points - thereby legitimising the terror group and allowing it to set the editorial tone - factual inaccuracies, and the omission of facts, such as the link between the YPG and PKK or the mention of atrocities they have carried out,” it said.