Birgun newspaper’s claim yesterday (February 11, 2015) that the U.S. Ambassador John Bass sought a meeting with the paper is a misrepresentation of the facts. There was no such request. Their claim to have rejected a meeting with the Ambassador is also, therefore, a work of fiction. The Press Attaché at the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul requested a courtesy call with the paper, as part of normal outreach to all segments of Turkey’s media. But, to twist the story into something involving the Embassy or the Ambassador is false.
Birgun’s implied threat to engage in violence against the U.S. Embassy is especially despicable, coming as it does just days after the U.S. Embassy marked the two-year anniversary of the terrorist attack which killed a Turkish member of the Embassy staff.
The United States ardently supports freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Simply making up a story may be a form of expression, but it is not real journalism and reflects poorly on the ethics and professionalism of Birgun.