February 2, 2012 - Today's Zaman
One of the largest Turkish-American organizations, the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA), has sent letters to News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation-owned Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes to make known its concern regarding anti-Turkey sentiments voiced on Fox News during the Jan. 17 Republican presidential debate.
The letters were prompted by media reports that Murdoch's News Corporation is considering a bid to buy one of Turkey's biggest media groups, which owns the Sabah daily and popular TV station ATV. TCA President G. Lincoln McCurdy explained his concerns in the letters sent to both Murdoch and Ailes.
He stated that during the Fox News-hosted Republican Presidential Primary Debate in South Carolina on Jan. 17, "Fox News' anchor Bret Baier recited a litany of out-of-context statistics arranged to portray Turkey in the worst possible light and then suggested to Texas Governor Rick Perry that such statistics might indicate that Turkey, one of the United States' most robust NATO allies, no longer deserved to be a member of NATO."
"Led on by this outrageous question, Governor Perry responded in a manner that nearly caused an international incident, accusing Turkey's democratically elected government of acting like 'Islamic terrorists' and suggesting that Turkey should be expelled from NATO," he added.
McCurdy said taken together, the moderator's question and the candidate's response shocked and alarmed Turkish-Americans and the people of Turkey. "Though this was a single broadcast, as you well know, in this global and interconnected world, everyone is listening. The negative impact of this single broadcast, therefore, should not be underestimated," he continued.
The letters concluded that "taking into account the uproar the debate caused among Turkish-Americans and throughout Turkish society, as well as News Corporation's interests in doing business in Turkey, TCA requested meetings with senior representatives of both organizations so that it could personally convey its concerns, talk about issues related to Turkey and establish a dialogue between the Turkish-American community and Fox News to prevent future incidents which do not benefit anyone."