Turkey’s ambassador to Norway, Safak Göktürk, reportedly has filed an official complaint with Pressens Faglige Utvalg (PFU), the national press complaints board, against Kjetil Stormark, editor of the website aldrimer.no. Göktürk reportedly was unhappy with an account of last summer’s failed coup in Turkey.
Turkey Purge, another website that monitors Turkish authorities’ actions after the coup, reported that Göktürk discounts Stormark’s sources for a story on aldrimer.no in which they suggested that last summer’s coup was staged by Turkey’s own authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his associates. Stormark’s sources, according to aldrimer.no, were all high-ranking officials at NATO.
Göktürk also complained that Stormark referred to the controversial Turkish president in an offensive manner. Erdogan, meanwhile, has been accused of making highly offensive comments himself against Germans, calling them “nazis,” and official in the Netherlands, calling them “fascists,” because they have prevented some of Erdogan’s ministers from campaigning for an April 16 referendum that could further expand and consolidate Erdogan’s power.
Stormark told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that he has confidence in the journalistic evaluations made before the story was published on aldrimer.no. “This article has been shared many times on social media, especially by critics of the (Erdogan) regime,” Stormark told news bureau NTB. “We’re not saying they’re right. What we’re reporting is that people high up in the NATO system have this understanding.” Erdogan has used the coup to justify more crackdowns on his critics and thousands of journalists, judges, state workers and academics whom Erdogan alleges were involved in it. Erdogan’s actions have been referred to as a purge of those whom he views as a threat to his position. Some Turkish officials stationed abroad have been summoned home and, fearing arrest, have sought asylum in their resident countries, including Norway.