Turkey attacks German weekly Der Spiegel over controversial cover

Turkey attacks German weekly Der Spiegel over controversial cover
After Der Spiegel dedicated one of its weekly editions to Turkey and called President Erdogan a 'dictator', Turkey's foreign ministry has accused the publishers of having a 'distorted mindset'.
2 min read
14 September, 2016
The German weekly has found itself in trouble over a controversial 'Turkey edition' [Der Spiegel]

Turkey has attacked leading German news magazine Der Spiegel after it published a special edition calling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a dictator.

Ankara said the edition of the weekly devoted entirely to Turkey was provocative and showed a "distorted mindset".

The foreign ministry said in a statement that the issue was particularly offensive to Muslims coming during the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.

"[It is a] new manifestation of the distorted and prejudiced mindset," the statement read, and said the cover was "especially provocative".

The cover showed a granite-faced Erdogan wearing sunglasses as well as two minarets from an Istanbul mosque transformed into rockets and lifting off for an attack.

"A country loses its freedom," the front page read.

In a statement, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said the cover, published during Eid, sought to create "a negative image not only about Turkey but also Islam".

The ministry described the magazine's publishing policy as "far from being responsible", saying that it was "the clear and latest example of an anti-Turkey approach."

"We regretfully condemn the attempts... to smear Mr President," it added, calling for an end to "pointless and ill-intentioned" efforts to blacken Turkey's image.

Introducing the special edition, Der Spiegel said: "What is going on in Turkey? There is hardly a day without bad news… President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is changing from a reformer into a despot."

Der Spiegel has a long history of run-ins with the Turkish authorities and earlier this year withdrew its correspondent to Istanbul after he failed to receive his annual accreditation.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara are also still tense after the German parliament passed a resolution saying that the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman forces during the First World War constituted genocide, a classification that Turkey vehemently denies.