MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – The New York Times reporter Ceylan Yeginsu, who wrote a story on the recruitment efforts of the Islamic State (IS) militant group in the Turkish capital Ankara, has received thousands of threatening messages, the publication’s executive editor Dean Baquet said.
“She has been sent thousands of messages that threaten her safety. It is unacceptable for one of our journalists to be targeted in this way,” Baquet said in a statement released by The New York Times Thursday.
Baquet noted that “some Turkish authorities and media outlets have mounted a coordinated campaign to intimidate and to impugn the motives of the reporter who wrote the story.”
“We expect the Turkish authorities to work to ensure the safety of our journalists working legally in the county and we would ask these authorities to use well-established procedures for reaching either myself or other top editors of The New York Times should further communication regarding this matter be necessary,” Baquet said.
Yeginsu’s story was published on Tuesday, September 16, and was accompanied by a photograph of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The following day, the newspaper published a correction, saying that its photo editors erred when coupling the images with Yeginsu’s story.
Baquet stressed that “neither the article nor the photograph were in any way meant to imply, that President Erdogan supported ISIS or condoned the recruitment of ISIS fighters in Turkey.”
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting against the Syrian government alongside other rebel groups. In June, it launched an offensive in northern and western Iraq.
The United States, which started launching air strikes against IS positions in Iraq in August, is forming an international coalition with the aim of eradicating the militant group.
Turkey has stressed that its involvement with the coalition will only be limited to humanitarian operations and that it will not allow the launch of attacks against IS positions in Iraq and Syria from its air bases and will not take part in combat operations against IS militants.
US President Barack Obama announced last week that Washington would wage a campaign against the IS, which would include air strikes on Syrian soil and the provision of aid to Syrian rebel groups.