President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has scolded a Fox TV reporter over a question on Libya, saying that the media outlet needs to be “serious.”
The reporter, Barış Kaya, asked Erdoğan a question on his previous remarks regarding “several” soldiers being killed in Libya.
“The opposition criticized the fact that you used the word ‘several.’ What’s your response to these criticisms?” Kaya asked Erdoğan during a press briefing on Feb. 25.
Erdoğan remained silent for 14 seconds after the question, before finally breaking his silence to slam Fox TV, which is a media outlet critical of the government in Turkey.
“Fox should be a newspaper first. It should be a serious member of the press. You need to learn this. Quit producing fake news,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan and the channel have been at odds for years, with the most recent one being between anchorman Fatih Portakal and the President.
Upon scolding the reporter, Erdoğan said that the opposition “should judge itself first,” as he slammed main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for criticizing the government on the Libya issue.
“I’m not interested in what the opposition says. We can use numbers or a word. Will the opposition judge me? The opposition should judge itself first,” he said.
“We have two martyrs in Libya. There, I revealed the number. What will Mr. Kemal do with it?” Erdoğan added.
Ankara deployed troops in Libya to support the internationally-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) against the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Khalifa Haftar.
Ankara also deployed militants of the Syrian National Army (SNA), a group consisting of Syrian rebels backed by Turkey.
According to Erdoğan, Syrian rebels in Libya feel honored to be in the war-torn country alongside Turkey.