A pro-government Turkish newspaper published a controversial photo Wednesday on both its website and Twitter that depicted U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama as the terrorist perpetrator of the Istanbul nightclub terror attack that left 39 dead.
The post by Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit included two images of Obama — one legitimate and the other obviously photoshopped. The altered image featured the president’s face superimposed over that of the man suspected of carrying out the attack.
Translated, the caption read, “The sharpest image of the killer!”
You can see the original tweet here:
— Yeni Akit Gazetesi (@yeniakit) January 4, 2017
The paper reportedly did not produce the image but rather retrieved it from social media, where it claimed some Turkish users had been sharing it. Yeni Akit provided no explanation for this anti-Obama animosity. The New York Times, however, did.
“One story in the Turkish press, based on a routine travel warning issued by the American Embassy in Turkey, was that the United States had advance knowledge of the nightclub attack, which the Islamic State later claimed responsibility for,” The Times wrote.
“Another suggested that stun grenades used by the gunman had come from stocks held by the American military,” the report added. “Still another claimed the assault was a plot by the United States to sow divisions in Turkey between the secular and the religious.”
Much of this paranoia reportedly stemmed from the president’s refusal to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a fierce U.S.-based critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan whom the Turkish leader blamed for instigating a failed coup d’état during the summer.
Moreover, it was believed that Obama had been “providing weapons to Kurdish militants in Syria who are fighting the Islamic State, but are also an enemy of Turkey,” according to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim.
The good news for America was that the Turkish government had no intention of continuing this line of attack with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.
“We are not holding the new administration responsible for this, because this is the work of the Obama administration,” Yildirim explained.
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