Reputable Turkish director accuses pro-gov’t media of committing crime by manipulating facts

Cagan Irmak, a well-known Turkish director and screenwriter, has accused Turkey’s pro-AK Party media of committing a crime by manipulating data and facts, T24 news portal reported on Tuesday.

Sharing a poster of the movie “The Post” on his Instagram account, Irmak said, “The media of my country who writes the news are obliged to be impartial and to publicize the truth as it is.”

Irmak carried on with saying, “Our country deserves to receive news that is neutral, just telling the truth. Go beyond all ideologies, go beyond all small accounts and give us a real and accurate flow of information. Do not manipulate the truth. My country and people deserve the right, the truth. If you can’t do anything, follow the above film [The Post] for God’s sake, and put your hand on your conscience.”

Irmak’s remarks came after Sunday’s local elections that took place in an atmosphere criticized by rights groups and international bodies as an “uneven playing field”, where President Erdogan’s campaigning received many hours of media coverage compared to the little or no airing time allocated to the opposition.

The director also referred to the state-run Anadolu Agency’s (AA) election coverage that sparked suspicion of manipulation among opposition members and voters on Sunday. Being the only agency covering elections in Turkey since 2016, the state-run AA announced over 98 percent of the counted votes within hours after Sunday’s election, but it then stopped updating its data for the remaining vote counts, drawing rebuff from the opposition.

The Post is an American historical political thriller movie that depicts the true story of attempts by journalists at The Washington Post to publish the Pentagon Papers, classified documents pertaining to the 30-year involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War.

According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists in December 2018, Turkey is by far the leading jailer of journalists in the world. Turkey also ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index of Reporters Without Borders.

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