According to a claim shared on social media, Reuters had a headline praising President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “Erdoğan is powerful enough to rule the world by the phone.” The claim first appeared in 2019.
We searched for some words in the sentence of the claim on the website of Reuters. When we searched for “Erdogan,” “power,” or “powerful” and “phone” on the website, we cannot find such a headline in the claim.
Teyit asked a journalist of Reuters if there was such a headline in the database of Reuters. In searches by both Turkish and English keywords in the database, the sentence, title, or content in the claim could not be found.
In 2015, the word “strongman” was used for Erdogan in a headline. However, this statement was chosen not for praise, but for criticism, to strengthen the emphasis on authoritarianism. The article discussed Erdogan’s words and general political attitudes about the presidential system before the elections in 2015. The news basically talks about the possibility of a constitutional amendment to make Erdogan “the only strong man” by eliminating the separation of powers.
In Factiva, a database containing news from all around the world, it is possible to search Reuters sources. We searched by the keywords, “erdogan and phone and strong”, “erdogan and phone and power” “erdogan and call and power” “erdogan and call and world” “erdogan and phone and world” “erdogan and world and rule” “erdogan and world and govern”; however, we did not find any headline.
In conclusion, the claim that the headline of Reuters praised Erdoğan is not true. There is not such a headline on the database of Reuters. The post in question is an example of a fabricated content.
Reuters, Erdogan settles in as Turkey's strongman, constitutional change or not, 27 January 2015
Reuters, Search by keywords
Interview with Reuters, 24 June 2020, Hour: 15.55
Results of the search by keywords on Factiva
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Translation: Hilal Ebru Yakar