The deceitful re-titling of a story on the coronavirus, Turkey, and Italy was “completely fake,” said the story’s writer on Thursday, criticizing EurAsian Times for misrepresenting what the article actually said.
In the story written for Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish service, writer Esma Cakir interviewed an Italian doctor and shared his advice with Turkish readers on how to stem the virus’ spread.
“You are saving thousands of lives for every day you stay home,” Dr. Luca Lorini told DW.
Lorini gave his views about the crisis in Italy – one of the countries hardest hit by the virus – and what Turkish doctors can do to avoid the mistakes made there.
However, EurAsian Times, a South Asian-based news website, reported the interview under the misleading headline: “After Italy&Spain, Turkey could be the next hotbed of Covid-19: Italian Doctor.”
Cakir took the website to task, saying the doctor had never said such a thing.
“EurAsian Times published my interview with this title: After Italy&Spain, Turkey could be the next hotbed of Covid-19: Italian Doctor’ which is not correct,” Cakir wrote on Twitter.
“Absolutely fake title! He has never mentioned that Turkey will become a hotbed of Covid-19 after Italy& Spain.”
But even after Cakir disavowed this misrepresentation, EurAsian Times failed to remove its article or apologize to its readers, Cakir, and Lorini for its fake reporting.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide has now surpassed 510,000 while the death toll has crossed 22,900 and nearly 121,000 have recovered, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the U.S.
Italy, China, Iran, and Spain continue to be the countries hardest hit.
Despite the rising number of cases, most of the people who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.