A group of journalists, in coordination with the Turkish state, entered the occupied Afrin canton on February 2, including photographers and correspondents for Spanish and international newspapers and media, as the agenda of the tour was prepared by the occupying Turkish army to visit certain sites.
The correspondent of the Spanish newspaper "El Mundo" a well-known right-wing bias and pro ruling class, especially the conservative Spanish Popular Party, which is known for its role in defending the monarchy interests, as the journalist Angel Rivera said in a report: It is "a newspaper that defends the monarchy against the vast majority of the population."
On February 7, "El Mundo" published its first report on the city, which deals with the health situation in light of the Covid-19 spike. The journalist meets settlers from Idlib, Homs and other cities without asking himself what happened to the original inhabitants, as our sources have been informed that the Turkish army took the journalists to the remaining Kurdish families in the city and told them that they were an American delegation.
The report lacks professionalism and objectivity, reports only the official Turkish point of view. The journalist focuses on the bombings, putting the blame on the People's Protection Units without providing any evidence or documents, and ignores the violations and crimes that the occupying Turkish forces carried out with their mercenary groups. He accuses the Kurdish Units of the bombings, the largest of which is the truck, which claimed lives of the dozens of civilians, and he dares to say that hospital filled with the bombing injured instead of the Coronavirus infected.
The article does not touch on the hundreds of crimes committed by the occupying Turkish state against women and civilians, nor does it talk about kidnapping, which documented by international and local human rights organizations. Rather, the correspondent whitewashed and legitimized the Turkish occupation of Afrin and showed a completely different version of de facto reality.
As for the American "New York Times", it published its report after its correspondent entered Afrin, where the report can be understood and the intentions hidden between its lines can be understood only through the introduction. The correspondence started saying: "Turkey is the only international force on the ground that protects about five million displaced and vulnerable civilians. Today it is the Turkish soldiers who stand between them and a likely massacre at the hands of President Bashar al-Assad's forces and his Russian allies."
The American correspondent also legitimized the Turkish occupation, "demonstrating the achievements in infrastructure, education and health services." She did not talk about the destruction in to the Turkish raids, nor the environmental damage after cutting more than 1,200 olive tree, according to the human rights organization Afrin - Syria.
These reports led to a wave of anger on social media among the Kurds and others, prompting many journalists to publish reports that clarify the crimes and violations committed by the occupying Turkish state and its affiliated groups in the Afrin region.
Israeli journalist Seth Franzman responded to the report published by the American newspaper in an article on the Jerusalem Post, on February 17, citing reports published by Amnesty International and the Human Rights Organization. Franzman pointed out that the newspaper is "whitewashing the Turkish military occupation of Afrin and the ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish people." The journalist was surprised by the absence of the other side voice in the New York Times report, which usually reports both sides' voice. "When covering Afrin, it seemed to give only the Turkish military occupation officials and the pro-Ankara voices a place."
Franzman added that Turkey carries out the demographic change in the region, noting that “deporting the Kurds and Yazidis and resettling settlers from other Syrian cities is very similar to what the German Nazi regime did when it occupied areas in Eastern Europe, where the Nazis sent Germans to the areas after they displaced the original inhabitants. "
In the same context, the Spanish journalist, Carlos Zorotosa, responded to the two articles with a report published in the Basque newspaper Gara on February 24, under the title: “Kurdish anger after the operation - washing the face of the Turkish occupation in Afrin.”
Zorotosa talks about the surprise that the Turkish state has prepared for analysts, journalists and activists around the world, whether in response or not, adding: “I have drawn my attention to how exclusive access to a region controlled by Islamic militias, but above all, bias in favor of the Turkish occupiers.” Some tweets from Spanish and Kurdish journalists in Europe who strongly criticized the two newspapers and their subjective and very biased coverage of the Turkish occupation state.
These reports are the first of their kind after journalists entered the region. It is expected that other materials related to various topics will be published, according to the visit program we obtained from reliable sources. These visits come after widespread accusations by the occupying Turkish forces and mercenary groups affiliated with them by international human rights organizations, but the publication of these reports showed the opposite and what Turkey wanted, as the American newspaper confirmed: “How did Turkey modernize the city and improve the living conditions of the population by introducing its currency and feeding the region through Turkish electricity lines, and Turkish aid organizations help for the population. "
The main reason for Turkey taking journalists to this region after three years of its occupation, according to analysts, is to cover its crimes, which were documented and published by the most important organizations concerned with war crimes in conflict areas, in addition to giving positive points to reporters in Turkey after it became one of the most repressive countries for freedom. Journalism and Journalists, according to Reporters Without Borders International.