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Turkey threatens legal action over '60 Minutes' report on Kurds

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Turkey threatens legal action over '60 Minutes' report on Kurds02/12/96 TURKEY--Turkey's deputy foreign minister, Onur Oymen, complained to a U.S.…

Turkey threatens legal action over ’60 Minutes’ report on Kurds

02/12/96

TURKEY–Turkey’s deputy foreign minister, Onur Oymen, complained to a U.S. envoy and threatened CBS with legal action in mid-January for running a program on Turkey’s dealings with its Kurdish population that he said was an example of “unethical and bad journalism.”

The “60 Minutes” program contained interviews with two U.S. State Department officials who asserted that the Turkish government is conducting a campaign of violence against the Kurds.

The program also included an interview with fugitive Kurdish guerrilla leader Abdullah Ocalan, who met with “60 Minutes” journalists in a secret “safe house.” Oymen criticized the producers of CBS for not revealing Ocalan’s location at the time of the interview, saying that they are “defending the country which gives shelter to the terrorist organization,” according to Associated Press reports.

A CBS spokesperson said the network does not expect any legal action by Turkey, noting that Turkey’s real “beef” is with the State Department officials, who spoke of their own free will and knowledge. CBS said it stands behind its broadcast and right to free expression.

Turkey’s complaint about the CBS program came a few days after the Turkish government threatened two British newspapers with legal action for their reports on alleged wrongdoings by Turkish diplomats, according to AP reports.