France's Comité Interministériel de Prévention de la Délinquance et de la Radicalisation (CIPDR), an interministerial committee for the prevention of delinquency and radicalization, has slammed Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency, saying that it's a propaganda outlet.
The CIPDR said that while Anadolu Agency's French branch "presents itself as a news agency," it's actually far from being so.
"Anadolu is a propaganda agency that publishes opinion pieces on its website targeting France in a misleading and slanderous manner," the committee said.
Anadolu @aa_french se présente comme une agence de presse. En réalité, il n’en est rien : Anadolu est un organe de propagande qui publie sur son site des tribunes d’opinion attaquant, de façon mensongère et calomnieuse, la France.— SG-CIPDR (@SG_CIPDR) April 27, 2021
"Anadolu does not cease to propagate fake news about France. This propaganda agency portrays itself as the sworn opponent of France's actions, maintaining that the French state is targeting its fellow Muslim citizens. That's intolerable," it added.
Saying that France guarantees religious freedom to all of its citizens, the CIPDR noted that all citizens, whether religious or non-religious, are treated equally.
The committee then went on to give examples.
"In an opinion piece published on April 27, Anadolu relays the accusation according to which France would want to criminalize 'a segment of the population for its opinions and its belonging to a religion.' This is completely wrong," it said, while also sharing the screenshot of the article published by Anadolu Agency.
Quelques exemples récents : ce 27 avril, dans une tribune d’opinion, Anadolu relaie l’accusation selon laquelle la France voudrait criminaliser « une partie de la population pour ses opinions et sa supposée appartenance religieuse ». Ceci est totalement faux. pic.twitter.com/G7bHCaSjTZ— SG-CIPDR (@SG_CIPDR) April 27, 2021
"Another example of fake news propagated by Anadolu: On April 22, the website relays the accusation that the French government would want to 'muzzle Muslim expression.' That's outright false," it noted.
"France does not tolerate the propagation of lies and slander which target its founding principles of universalism and humanism."
Anadolu Agency's reporting principles are also a subject of debate in Turkey, as it often acts as the mouthpiece of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which frequently targets France over Islamophobia, drawing a harsh rebuke from Paris authorities.