The pro-government Yeni Akit daily on Wednesday posted an image on its official Twitter account and website portraying US President Barack Obama as the gunman in an attack on an İstanbul nightclub in which 39 people were killed and 69 wounded early on Sunday.
Yeni Akit posted an image comprising an actual photo of President Obama juxtaposed with a picture of the suspect, whose face had been altered to that of Obama, with an embedded text saying “Clearest photo of the murderer,” on its Twitter account, which has 108,000 followers, and website, one of most visited news sites in Turkey.
While Yeni Akit’s Twitter post only said “Clearest photo of the murderer,” the story on the website said: “Social media users say the US is behind the armed attack on Reina in [İstanbul’s] Ortaköy [neighborhood].” The image was widely shared and went viral on the Internet.
At slightly after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, a man wielding a Kalashnikov rifle killed a policeman and a civilian outside the entrance to the popular Reina nightclub and blazed his way into the club, randomly shooting at some of the hundreds of revelers bringing in the New Year.
Of the 25 male and 14 female victims of the slaughter, seven were Saudi Arabian, two Indian, one from Canada, one from Syria, one from Israel, two Tunisians, four Iraqis, one Lebanese and one from Belgium. Eleven were Turkish citizens.
The terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.