Questioning the Compass of Western Media: Early Perceptions of July 15 Coup Attempt in Turkey

Önder M. , Güler H., Ayhan E.

I Turkey, vol.23, no.3, pp.157-180, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.25253/99.2021233.9
  • Title of Journal : I Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.157-180


This study investigates how the western media reacted immediately

after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. To this end, 91 news

reports and articles in ten newspapers from the U.S., the UK, Germany,

and France, dating from July 15 to July 18, 2016, were analyzed. Based on

content analysis, the early perceptions of the western media were categorized

by sentiment as positive, neutral, or negative in terms of their tone,

feeling, and emotion regarding the coup attempt. The findings show that

only 42 publications were neutral only reporting the news, while 44 publications

were positive about the coup attempt favoring the junta and failing

to support the democratically elected government. On the other hand,

only five publications expressed negative opinions about the coup attempt

by showing strong support for democracy and expressing anti-coup views.

Overall, the analysis shows that journalists are not free of bias; most of

them missed or neglected the damaging consequences of the coup attempt

on Turkish democracy and society due to their negative perceptions about

the incumbent government.