In a rare demonstration of the situation surrounding the state media in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a columnist “to do the necessary thing in his column” when he was asked by the columnist about the opposition’s “fading criticism” of city hospitals, which gradually began to replace public hospitals after 2017.
The city hospitals -currently 19 hospitals in 16 provinces- have been criticized by the opposition over the lavish payments made in return for the hospital services provided by private companies, and over the difficulties in reaching the hospitals most of which were built in the cities’ peripheries without sufficient public transport.
Abdulkadir Selvi of government media Hurriyet asked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a joint broadcast by Turkey’s Kanal D and CNN Turk, a question with an obvious answer:
“The opposition used to criticize the city hospitals a lot, but they have recently toned down their criticism. How do you comment on that?”
Erdogan said in response:
“Well, Mr. Abdulkadir, you’ll now do in your column what’s necessary.”
He then smiled and added, “You see, Mr. Ahmet is already doing that,” referring to Hurriyet’s editor-in-chief and columnist Ahmet Hakan who was sitting next to Abdulkadir Selvi.