A story that was published on daily Hürriyet’s first page on Feb. 25 with the headline “Seven Answers to Seven Criticisms” was penned based completely on an institutional “briefing” by the Turkish General Staff upon questions from the daily’s Ankara
representative, Hande Fırat, according to a statement from the newspaper.
The expression of “Unease at military HQ” in the headline, above a secondary line that said “Claims and criticisms are weakening [the army] on seven issues,” from Hürriyet’s editorial department was not taken from the briefing – a point that was also noted in a related statement by the General Staff.
Hürriyet’s statement continues as follows:
“The expression of ‘unease’ in Hürriyet’s story was used in order to explain the situation created by the aforementioned claims and criticisms targeting the General Staff.
“However, unfortunately, after the story was published, we saw that this expression could be understood as if there was unease in the General Staff against the government.
“It didn’t cross our minds that such a meaning would be attributed to that headline. Such an intention is absolutely out of the question. Even if that was not the intention, the “Unease at military HQ” headline can be seen as an editorial mistake that goes beyond its purpose. For that, we are sorry.
“The weakening of our army and attempts to drag it into domestic politics are situations that every Turkish citizen should reject.
“The army remaining under the orders of civilians that acquire their posts in elections is an essential condition for our democracy.”