24/08/2023 | Writer: Selma Koçak

TTB complained to the Press Council about Yeni Şafak, Akit and Aydınlık due to their news coverage targeting physicians.

TTB complained to Press Council about the newspapers targeting medical doctors Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Turkish Medical Association (TTB), filed a complaint with the Press Council about Yeni Şafak, Akit and Aydınlık due to their news coverage violating Professional Principles of the Press by targeting medical doctors.

The newspapers Yeni Şafak, Yeni Akit and Aydınlık had targeted physicians working at İstanbul University Faculty of Medicine who wrote the article titled “Endocrinological Approach to Adolescents with Gender Dysphoria: Experience of a Pediatric Endocrinology Department in a Tertiary Center in Turkey” which was published in a peer-reviewed international journal. The mentioned newspapers had distorted the information took place in the article and had prepared news coverage by using the distorted content on the basis of an application including non-scientific claims.

TTB stated that photographs of the physicians, who wrote the article, were included in the news coverage and that the news articles containing unfair claims were presented to the public without asking the opinions of its writers and without scientifically evaluating the study as a whole, within the scope of the complaint petition about the mentioned newspapers addressing the Press Council.

Underlining that the news articles containing hate speech and discrimination violate the Constitution and human rights laws, within the context of the petition TTB said: “The mentioned news articles were prepared and published without specifying the source, without including the opinions of the writers, their objections and responses, if any, to the allegations. The news coverage, which impugns respectability of people and points people as a target by publishing their photographs and makes them vulnerable to violence, is evidently contrary to facts and aims to weaken physicians in society. As a result, it cannot be assessed within the framework of freedom of the press since it is of a nature that endangers public health. This is because it leads both doctors to avoid the processes of evaluation of such cases and the provision of medical assistance, and applicants not to seek medical assistance due to the fear of stigmatization created in society.”

In its letter of complaint, the TTB demanded the Press Council to carry out the necessary investigation and to impose sanctions on the newspapers on the grounds of violating Professional Principles of the Press. The violated principles were listed as “journalism should not be used as an instrument for private interests and aims in an immoral manner”, “journalists should consider people’s right to know the facts”, “statements that are humiliating, degrading or sullying individuals and organizations beyond the limits of criticism shall not be allowed”, “the news which can be investigated within the boundaries of journalism shall not be published without being sure of their accuracy” and “journalists avoid publishing which is violent, hateful, tyrannical and encouraging discrimination, and harming humanitarian values.”

Tags: human rights, media, labour