Oğuz Haksever, an anchor for Turkey’s pro-government NTV, on Monday forgot his microphone was live while airing video footage of the inauguration of the Yassıada Island project and criticized what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at the opening ceremony without knowing his comments were reaching the audience.
Yassıada has had symbolic and historic value since the trials of Democrat Party officials were held on the island after a coup in 1960.
Erdoğan a few years ago declared that Yassıada would be a “democracy island” after the construction of a museum and conference hall.
However, the construction came with at the price of losing all the green space on the island.
As President Erdoğan had called Yassıada “yaslı ada,” making a pun that means “mournful island,” Haksever criticzed Erdoğan’s words, saying: “Where is mournfulness? You killed it off.”
After his gaffe went viral on social media, he released a statement claiming that his words targeted the planners of the project.
“I think the latest developments on the island do not reflect the gloomy atmosphere that must have prevailed there,” the statement reads.