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Dec 08 2018

Turkish pro-gov’t media criticises European counterparts over Paris protests coverage

Turkish pro-government has been closely following the Paris protests while accusing the European press of failing to covering the clashes which have entered their third week.

A reporter from Turkey’s state television TRT  was filmed by Turkish activists on Saturday while broadcasting protests live from Paris.

“Friends, TRT, that never shows protest in Turkey, that never shows brutality in Turkey, that never reports occupational fatalities in Turkey, now is here reporting France,” the Turkish protestor said in a video showing the TRT crew broadcasting from Paris.

The "Gilet Jaunes," or "Yellow Vests," movement, named after the sleeveless jackets worn by French truck drivers, began as a backlash against French President Emmanuel Macron’s fuel tax hikes. The rebellion erupted on Nov. 17 and has spread quickly via social media, with protesters blocking roads across France and impeding access to shopping malls, factories and fuel depots.

Turkish pro-government media has been very eager to cover the protests in France since day one. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency on Saturday said it would provide live coverage from three countries, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Anadolu continously shares videos from Paris and reports each and every step of the protests of the Yellow Vests.

Turkish pro-government channel A Haber on Saturday evening accused CNN and BBC of broadcasting documentaries, instead of covering protests.

“European media, which criticises the protests calling them ‘vandalism of protesters’ and ‘occupation of Paris streets’, once put the terror supporters in Turkey on their covers with headlines ‘do not bow’,” pro-government Yeni Şafak daily said on Dec. 3.

Another pro-government daily, Takvim, said last week that the European countries, afraid of the possibility of protests spreading to their territories, supported Macron over the protestors.

But, Turkish pro-government media’s journalism from France attracted criticism at home by many remembering the attitude of Turkish newspapers and televisions during the 2013 Gezi Park protests.

“Pro-government media, which closed its ears and eyes during Gezi and broadcast documentaries, is now like a tiger in France,” one twitter user said.

Academic Gazi Çağlar also criticised Turkish pro-government media’s coverage of events in France. “What is the pro-government media doing? It is trying to legitimise the AKP’s [Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party] by showing police violence in France,” he said.

Canadian journalist Nick Ashdown posted a tweet, reading “It’s great to see that Russian and Turkish news networks *do* in fact know how to cover protests and police violence.”

“I would love to be able to experience and accept the cognitive dissonance that comes from gleefully applauding the gilets jaune protests whilst simultaneously decrying Gezi as a Jewish plot to bring down a renascent Turkey,” another Twitter user said.

However, the reactions of the AKP’s supporters are quite different.

“CNN, BBC, and REUTERS is not broadcasting live. Nobody condemns. Nobody talks about freedoms, human rights. The very ethical media that followed every moment of Gezi is absent. Because those are not happening in Turkey and it is not a Muslim country. This is Paris, France,” one Twitter user said.

Another account on Twitter also criticised foreign media.

“France is burning, where are you,” the Twitter  user said.