Turkish newspaper labels Orlando terror attack victims as “perverts”

Right-wing Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit labelled victims of the Orlando terror attack, in which 49 people were murdered by Islamic State, as “perverts” due to the fact they were gay. The newspaper, which has close links with the country’s leader President Erdogan and political party AKP, is known for its hatred towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, women, atheist, Christian, and Jewish people.

“Death toll rises to 50 in bar where perverted homosexuals visit,” said the homophobic headline. Worryingly, the newspaper is currently ranked as the 38th most visited site in Turkey and 1,358th most visited site in the world. The newspaper has previously supported terror group Al-Qaeda.

Gunman Omar Mateen
Gunman Omar Mateen

The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, USA, was a scene of horrific devastation with 49 people confirmed dead and 53 people wounded as of Sunday. Gunman Omar Mateen, 29, opened fire on people in the venue and was later killed by police after a shootout involving 11 officers. There are unconfirmed reports that Meteen telephoned emergency services before the event and “pledged allegiance to Islamic State.” IS has claimed responsibility for the attack.


Yeni Akit
Yeni Akit

Yeni Akit, which means New Agreement, is supported by one of Turkey’s largest political parties, the Justice and Development Party (AKP or JDP) and has close links to President Erdogan. In a country where freedom of the press is heavily restricted, Yeni Akit has been labelled by the Hrant Dink Foundation as “fundamentalist” and is often accused of hate speech. One such example is when Osama bin Laden was captured: the newspaper featured a full-page condolence page to commemorate his “loss.”

The Hrant Dink Foundation found over 160 articles of hate speech directed at eight minority groups within an eight month period. Nearly all of these were aimed at Armenians, Christians, and Jews.

At the time of writing, a video accusing wealthy Jewish persons “running the world” is  the second most popular item on the website. The video also mentions how US presidents must support Zionism, or they will receive no “Jewish money.” Further anti-Semitic remarks are made which are not suitable for publication.

A fundraising page has been set-up for the victims of the Orlando shootings. At the time of publication over $1.3 million has been raised. You can donate here.

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