On February 1, the Turkish Coalition of America sent letters to Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of the News Corporation, and Roger Ailes, Chairman of News Corporation-owned FOX News, to register its concern with anti-Turkey sentiments voiced on FOX News during the January 17 Republican presidential debate.
The letters were prompted by media reports that the News Corporation is looking to expand its presence in Turkey by buying the Sabah-ATV media outlet.
TCA president G. Lincoln McCurdy explained his concerns in the letters to both Murdoch and Ailes:
During the FOX News-hosted Republican Presidential Primary Debate in South Carolina on Jan. 17, FOX News’ Bret Baier recited a litany of out-of-context statistics arranged to paint 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.
Taken together, FOX News’ 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.
Taking into account the uproar that the debate caused among Turkish Americans and throughout Turkish society, as well as News Corporation’s interests in doing business in Turkey, TCA has requested meetings with senior representatives of both organizations so that it can 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 any reasonable party.