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Euronews apologizes for controversial presentation of report on Atatürk’s illnesses

A person is wrapped in a flag with the image of the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as they gather at the Anitkabir Mausoleum to mark the 83th anniversary of his death, in Ankara on November 10, 2021. Adem ALTAN / AFP

Euronews Turkish service has released a statement on social media apologizing for the way its news covering the illnesses of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, was posted on social media, over backlash from readers.

The piece, titled “November 10: The diseases Atatürk had undergone throughout his life,” which was published on the 83rd anniversary of his death on Wednesday, was also shared by Euronews Turkish service on Twitter with a note that underlined Atatürk had died of “alcoholic liver cirrhosis” in 1938.

According to local media reports, the post was deleted shortly afterwards, due to the negative reactions it received from readers.

The news website also released an apology, saying that the article on Atatürk’s diseases had been shared on social media “with statements that went beyond their purpose.”

“An examination has been launched regarding the fact that the news in question was posted in a way that could mean disrespect to Atatürk. As Euronews Turkish, we respectfully commemorate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk on the 83rd anniversary of his death. We are sorry,” the statement added.

Atatürk, the first president of Turkey, who founded the country as a secular republic in 1923 from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire and its defeat in World War I, died at Dolmabahçe Palace, his official residence in İstanbul, on Nov. 10, 1938 from cirrhosis of the liver.

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