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Turkey demands action after Lebanese TV show insults 'evil' President Erdogan

The show has been widely condemned for its alleged insults to Erdogan [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 June, 2020

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The Turkish embassy in Lebanon has taken swift action to demand necessary measures from Lebanon after a perceived insult against Erdogan on a TV show.
The Turkish embassy in Lebanon contacted the Lebanese foreign ministry and demanded the state institution take “necessary measures” against a television show called Ana Heik, which was broadcast on 10 June on Lebanon's Al-Jadeed channel.

During the show, host Neshan Derharoutynian interviewed former Environment Minister Wiam Wahab, and according to Lebanese state-run National News Agency, the pair “publicly and directly offended” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish people.

Responding to a message from a viewer who accused the host of racism for calling Erdogan evil, the Lebanese host Derharoutynian confirmed [he is] "..evil and the son of a million evil men" before clarifying his attack was directed toward "Erdogan, the [Turkish] regime, the Ottomans and the Turks.

The embassy "strongly condemns the verbal insults" against the Turkish president and requested the intervention of the Lebanese foreign ministry with the country's competent authorities to "guarantee the respect of the Turkish President in all Lebanese media," said NNA.

Secretary-General of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry Hani Chmeitli demanded the information ministry take "necessary measures…knowing that such attacks would disturb the relations of Lebanon with foreign countries," it added.

Anti-Erdogan sentiment 

Ankara has been swift in its repression of anti-Erdogan sentiment, and earlier this week it criticised Twitter after the social media network removed over 7,000 accounts that supported Erdogan and his political party.

On Friday, Twitter announced it cracked down on "state-linked information operations" from Turkey, Russia and China, and has suspended thousands of accounts for violations of the social network's platform manipulation policies.

Twitter said it suspended 7,340 profiles that were employing "coordinated inauthentic activity" targeting an audience within Turkey.

"Based on our analysis of the network’s technical indicators and account behaviors, the collection of fake and compromised accounts was being used to amplify political narratives favourable to the AK Parti, and demonstrated strong support for President Erdogan," said Twitter.

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish government's communications director, said in a statement that Twitter's findings were "unscientific, utterly biased and politically motivated".

"This arbitrary act, hidden behind the smokescreen of transparency and freedom of expression, has demonstrated yet again that Twitter is no mere social media company, but a propaganda machine with a certain political and ideological inclinations, which does not refrain from smearing users and stakeholders that it deems to be incompatible with those views," said Altun.

Altun added that Twitter's decision was an attempt to "redesign Turkish politics" and "promote 'black' propaganda by anti-Turkey entities" such as the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Gulen movement.

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