[News] Hezbollah Denounces Evrensel Interview of Nasrallah as a Fake

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 4 08:29:42 EDT 2006



http://counterpunch.org/cockburn09012006.html

September 1, 2006
The Interview That Wasn't
Hezbollah Denounces Evrensel Interview of Nasrallah as a Fake

By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Hussain Rahhal, Hezbollah's press liaison, has issued a written statement:

     "Our secretary general Nasrallah has not given any interviews to 
any Turkish or other non-Lebanese journalist during the month of 
August. In the face of this imaginary interview that is untruthful, 
and hence does damage to journalism, credibility and objectivity, 
Hezbollah reserves its right to take legal action against those who 
have published it."

This is in reference to an interview purporting to be of Hezbollah's 
leader,Sayeed Hassan Nasrallah, by a Turkish collective in Beirut. It 
was published in Evrensel, a socialist Turkish daily, on August 12 
and 13, causing some stir in the Turkish press. It was translated 
into English and posted on least one left site, Marxmail, one of 
whose readers forwarded it to CounterPunch. We ran excerpts from it 
on August 17.

In an item last weekend I noted charges that the interview was 
fraudulent, also interesting and important observations about radical 
components in the Shi'a tradition, which might buttress arguments for 
the interview's genuineness. I hope this particular fakery won't 
discredit those insights, which are important for the left.

Hezbollah's denunciation is categorical, and should be taken as the 
last word, though if there are any significant or interesting updates 
we'll let CounterPunchers know. I do find Hezbollah's threat of legal 
action somewhat comical. Will they also try to drag Rupert Murdoch 
and Ted Turner and other barons of the First World press into the 
World Court for misrepresentation? Wasn't that the hope of the 
proposed New World Information Order, twenty-five or so years ago?

Postscript:

Today we received this statement from Evrensel Daily.

STATEMENT FROM EVRENSEL DAILY

ABOUT THE FORGED NASRALLAH INTERVIEW

Taylan Bilgic
Cihan Celik
Foreign News Desk
Evrensel Daily / ISTANBUL, TURKEY

It is now clearly understood that, the so-called "interview" with 
Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, which appeared on our 
newspaper (12th August) in Turkey is a forgery.

Press Representative of Hezbollah, Hussein Rahhal, on a question 
asked by the official Anatolian Agency correspondent, replied that 
Nasrallah has not conducted any interview with any Turkish journalist 
in August.

With this forgery, "Mutlu Sahin" and "Roza Cigdem Erdogan", the 
forgers, who are members of the "Sheikh Bedreddin Film Collective" 
(Turkish initials, SBFK) have attempted to tarnish the reliability of 
Evrensel, a 12-years old socialist newspaper. But this is not all. 
They have attempted to erode the reliability of all progressive, 
antiwar, antiimperialist sources and people all over the world; as 
the "interview" had far reaching consequences than they probably have 
imagined in their pathetic minds.

Evrensel General Coordinator, Ihsan Caralan, has made a written 
statement about the developments. This statement is printed on the 
2nd September, 2006 issue of Evrensel, from the front page... We 
believe this statement will shed light into the forgery, though the 
real aims and connections of the instigators are still unknown ...

Here is the statement:

     "This 'interview' was sent to us by members of the Sheikh 
Bedreddin Film Collective members, Mutlu Sahin and Roza Cigdem 
Erdogan. The fact that these people who are known as 'documentary 
filmmakers' were members of a known cultural organization is the most 
important factor that we approached them without any suspicion.

     These people, whose "Beirut impressions" were printed in some 
other newspapers and internet sites, have also sent us, before the 
said "interview", their 'Beirut impressions' and these were printed 
on our paper, too.

     The so-called interview with Sheikh Nasrallah included 
symphatetic remarks about historical persona such as Deniz Gezmis and 
Che Guevera. These remarks were found suspicious by us; but at that 
time our thought was that Hezbollah, who had won the support of 
Islamic circles, was attempting to erase the prejudices and 
suspicions in the West and especially, in left-wing circles by these 
words. Our aim of publishing the 'interview' was, our desire to 
reflect the developments of an important conflict from all perspectives.

     After the interview was published, there were various suspicions 
raised in various circles. Because of this, we demanded from Mutlu 
Sahin that he should immediately confirm that the interview was 
actually done. But they have evaded us until the last minute by 
continuously saying that they will confirm the interview, will 
present documented evidence, make Hezbollah print the interview on 
their website etc.

     When the news of Anatolian Agency was put into service, we 
immediately sent the text to them via Windows Messenger. After 
reading the message, and without making any comment, Mutlu Sahin 
became offline and from then on, did not answer our phone calls.

     As obvious to all, this attitude amounts to nothing more than an 
'unqualified forgery'. Our newspaper, since the beginning, has uphold 
the principles of peoples' right to true information and learning the 
truth. But another principle of our newspaper is follow-up. Thus, we 
will continue to seek and tell the truth about these people and the 
figures behind them, if there are any.

     These people are responsible for cheating us and thus, making us 
the instrument of the dissemination of false information. But 
nevertheless, we cannot evade our own responsibility as the newspaper 
who printed this false interview. We have encountered such a 
situation for the first time in our history and this teaches us again 
that meticulousness in newsmaking should never be forgotten.

     We sincerely apologize from our readers, from the various 
publications (online or print) who trusted us and printed this text 
and those who translated the text to various languages and sent it to 
various news resources."

     And here is another recent development from the film collective. 
This piece of news below also appeared on Evrensel on 2nd September.

     SBFK did not even apologize

     Mutlu Sahin and Roza Cigdem Erdogan, who had their names on the 
fake interview are nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, SBFK made an 
announcement yesterday:

     "This sudden development about the interview was totally 
unexpected. SBFK Press Representative Yilmaz Kilickaya, Foreign 
Relations Coordinator Zafer Hanoglu, members Roza Cigdem Erdogan, 
Berfin Gunes and Esra Celik, have gone to Beirut to inform the public 
and put an end to the debate.

     After weekend, they will inform the public on behalf of SBFK, 
which Hezbollah representatives will also attend.

     We had declared that we retain some of our rights. We will 
explain these rights in this last information we will give.

     From now on, the drawees are not Roza Cigdem Erdogan or Mutlu 
Sahin, but our collective. Until this last information meeting, we 
deem our friends innocent. After that last moment in which all debate 
will be put an end, their duties and authorities are suspended 
temporarily. We also note that we will not take seriously the attacks 
and insults circulating the internet against our collective and our members.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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