News & Politics

Turkish Newspaper Accused of Celebrating Orlando Attack: '50 Perverts Killed in Bar'

Yeni Akit is one of the most infamous newspapers in Turkey. It’s known for being in the tank for the increasingly authoritarian president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and for its hate speech towards LGBT groups, Jews and Christians. In other words: towards all those who do not share their Islamist ideology. The Islamist journalists and editors are now in the news themselves because they published an article on the terror attack in Orlando with the headline “Death toll rises to 50 in bar where perverted homosexuals go!” Because of the wording and the exclamation mark, many users of social media accuse the newspaper of celebrating rather than mourning the attack on the gay club.

The Daily Mail explains that there’s more where this came from:

According to Turkish think-tank the Hrant Dink Foundation, Yeni Akit is one of the worst offenders when it comes to using hate speech against minorities, in particular the LGBT community, but also against Jews, Armenians and Christians. In just four months in 2013, when the foundation competed its last survey, they found 175 articles where hate speech was directed at one of eight separate minority groups.

For those who don’t speak Turkish, “yeni akit” means “new agreement.” This “new agreement” they envision is, of course, one in which political Islam replaces the secular system created by Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Until a few years ago, it would have been impossible for these Islamists to spread their hate-filled views and ideology in such an open manner, but, sadly, things have changed a lot in Turkey under Erdoğan’s increasingly outspoken Islamist leadership. Now secular Turks, who believe Islamism is barbaric and regressive (which it is), have to fear for their freedom and safety, while haters like the editors of Yeni Akit can say and do as they please. For some reason — you’d almost think that Erdoğan secretly shares their views — they are left alone while Turkish journalists who believe in Atatürk’s principles and values are systematically persecuted.