Türkiye's communications director slams Reuters over baseless allegations about president's son
'We condemn Reuters for serving false news, which once again proves how important our fight against disinformation is,' says Fahrettin Altun
Türkiye's communications director on Monday condemned Reuters for reporting baseless allegations about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son, crying foul at the news agency spreading disinformation.
Fahrettin Altun called the allegations against Bilal Erdogan baseless, saying that the news agency was not even able to independently confirm whether President Erdogan and his son Bilal were aware of or had involvement in in a Swedish firm’s alleged kickback scheme.
"This disinformation product, which blatantly contradicts itself with the following sentences and practically confesses its lack of relevance to the truth, even at the minimal level of adherence to basic journalistic criteria, is the kind that will be taught in journalism lessons," said Altun.
Altun quoted the following from the article to prove his point: "Ultimately, no kickbacks were paid, according to the complaint submitted to authorities by an individual and reviewed by Reuters. In fact, Dignita Systems AB, the Swedish company, abruptly abandoned the project late last year, according to two people familiar with the matter and company communications seen by Reuters.
"Reuters was unable to confirm independently whether President Erdogan and his son Bilal were aware of, or had involvement in Dignita's alleged kickback scheme," Altun quoted Reuters as saying, adding his comment that the story was “an imaginary scenario.”
Altun also emphasized that the article raised questions as it was published on the eve of a NATO leaders' summit in Lithuania in the coming weeks.
"We would like to emphasize very clearly that this tendentious news, directed by Türkiye-opposed lobbies and public authorities to exert pressure on Türkiye, will never harm Türkiye's principled stance," he said.
"We condemn Reuters for serving this false news, which once again proves how important our fight against disinformation is, to the whole world," Altun added.
The Communications Directorate under Altun has made a high-profile push against disinformation, including a dedicated unit of the directorate and a regular “disinformation bulletin.”