THO's Response to New York Post's Inaccurate Portrayal

Dear Editor, 

It came to our attention that on Monday, December 14 the New York Post published a caricature that simply insults the Republic of Turkey and accuses for being in cooperation with the terrorist group ISIL. 

As a non-profit Turkish – American organization we aim to promote discussion and dialogue around Turkey’s role in the international community and issues of importance in the U.S. – Turkey bilateral relationship. In order to achieve our mission, we work diligently to inform and educate the American community about such baseless yet harmful allegations.  

We believe that responsible journalism requires consistency and reliability, which are critical virtues that can only be achieved through being accurate and objective. Unfortunately, this caricature is neither accurate nor an objective description of the ongoing crisis in the region. We simply believe and argue that a newspaper of your caliber should be more concerned about responsible journalism when it comes to publishing something that would dangerously mislead public’s perception and potentially portray Turks and Americans from Turkish heritage as ideologically connected and supportive of ISIS. We are extremely concerned that especially in the wake of the heinous terrorist attack in California, such innocent looking caricatures can actually do more harm than simply upsetting the Turkish – American community. 

Couple of weeks ago in his address to the nation, President Obama specifically mentioned how the U.S. and Turkey were working together to seal the border. The author of the caricature may not be aware of this obvious fact but as part of the anti-ISIS coalition, the Republic of Turkey had suffered more than any other western nation when it comes to ISIS related attacks and continues to be on high-alert. In addition, Turkey currently hosts more than 2.2 million Syrian refugees and the total cost of the ongoing civil war for Turkey has reached more than $8 billion. 

Your newspaper should also be aware that Secretary of Defense Carter and General Paul Selva’s recent testimonies in Senate proved that there is simply no connection between the Republic of Turkey and the terrorist group ISIS. Furthermore, Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Colonel Steve Warren stated that these claims were “preposterous and ridiculous” and they “flatly reject any notion that the Turks are somehow working with ISIL”. 

Instead of such baseless accusations, your readers deserve the right to know that as a NATO ally and part of the international coalition against ISIS, Turkish military has opened up its air base and trained more than 2,500 Peshmerga in Mosul against ISIS. In addition, this week the Republic of Turkey also joined a new Saudi-led Islamic military alliance against terrorism. In addition to these military cooperations, Republic of Turkey continues to work with its allies on many diplomatic fronts to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS. 

In conclusion, we believe that by deliberately overlooking these simple official facts and statements, the caricature that you published did not live up to the journalistic values and criteria. We hope that this letter will help you understand our concerns and why you should apologize to Americans from Turkish descent and Turkish citizens. 
We look forward to hearing a timely response.  

Halil Danismaz
Turkish Heritage Organization