Sunday, August 16, 2015

Turkey, Iran relations tested by media wars

    Sunday, August 16, 2015   No comments

When Iran's Press TV ran a story* accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan of visiting wounded militants from the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in southern Turkey near the Syrian border, it prompted the Turkish president to cancel his scheduled meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was about to visit Ankara on Tuesday.

While officials from both the Turkish and Iranian foreign ministries carefully scripted the reasons for the abrupt postponement, citing Zarif's busy schedule ahead of his visit to Turkey, the real reason was the Press TV story, which was among a barrage of critical reports in the Iranian media about Turkey's alleged support of radical groups in Syria, diplomatic sources said.

Erdoğan reportedly reacted to the story about his daughter by canceling the meeting with Zarif. When the Iranian foreign minister was unable to secure a meeting with President Erdoğan, in addition to his already scheduled meetings with senior Turkish officials focused on finding mutually acceptable solutions for resolving the prolonged Syrian conflict, he cancelled the entire visit.

On Thursday, however, Zarif said he is planning to visit Turkey next week.

On Tuesday, when Zarif was originally scheduled to attend meetings in Ankara, an article he wrote about regional affairs was published in the Cumhuriyet daily, a newspaper that is highly critical of Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government's Syria policy. In his article he defended the idea of regional cooperation to resolve regional problems rather than allowing outside intervention by the US and other countries that are doomed to fail.

The state-run Anadolu news agency also ran a story titled "Lies about Turkey in the Iranian media,” accusing Iranian media outlets of spreading disinformation.

*ISR Editors' Note: The original story was actually published on Canada's Global Research site under this URL:; and picked by by many other news sites.


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