Ankara, September 14, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
Turkey on Sept. 14 angrily criticized leading German news magazine Der Spiegel for a special edition that called President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “a dictator,” saying the edition was provocative and showed a “distorted mindset.”
The foreign ministry said in a statement that the issue — a special edition of the weekly devoted entirely to Turkey — was particularly offensive to Muslims coming during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
The edition is a “new manifestation of the distorted and prejudiced mindset” targeting the predominantly Muslim country, it said, saying that the cover was “especially provocative”.
“A country loses its freedom,” the special issue of the German magazine, published Sept. 13, said on its cover, describing Erdoğan as a “dictator”.
The cover showed a granite-faced Erdoğan wearing sunglasses as well as two minarets from an Istanbul mosque transformed into rockets and lifting off for an attack.
In a statement, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said the cover, published during Eid, sought to create “a negative image not only about Turkey but also Islam.”
The ministry described the magazine’s publishing policy as “far from being responsible,” saying that it was “the clear and latest example of an anti-Turkey approach.”
“We regretfully condemn the attempts… to smear Mr President,” it added, calling for an end to “pointless and ill-intentioned” efforts to blacken Turkey’s image.
Introducing the special edition, Der Spiegel said: “What is going on in Turkey? There is hardly a day without bad news… President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is changing from a reformer into a despot.”
Der Spiegel has a long history of run-ins with the Turkish authorities and earlier this year withdrew its correspondent to Istanbul after he failed to receive his annual accreditation.