FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show People Protesting Against ‘U.S. Regime Change’ In Turkey?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Twitter purportedly shows protesters demonstrating against “U.S. regime change” in Turkey.

Verdict: False

The image is digitally altered. The original photo shows a protest in 2017 against a Turkish opposition legislator’s imprisonment.

Fact Check:

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed from office April 10 following a vote of no-confidence in the country’s parliament, according to BBC News. He characterized his loss of power as “US-backed regime change” in a tweet the same day.

An image shared on Twitter April 6 appears to show a rally in support of Khan in Turkey days before his removal. It shows dozens of people gathered, some holding Turkish flags and at least one holding an image of Khan. Another person appears to hold a sign that reads, “stop involvement in other countries.”

“Protests against US regime change in Turkey after Russia,” reads the tweet. “US President Joe Biden recently released a video in support of opposition parties for regime change in Turkey, to which Turkey reacted strongly. #russia #turkey #imrankhan #PTI.”

The image is digitally altered. A reverse image search revealed an unedited version of the photo was published by The New York Times in June 2017. Notably, that image does not feature the image of Khan or other anti-U.S. signs.

Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years in a Turkish prison in 2017 for allegedly leaking a video that suggested Turkey had smuggled weapons to Islamic rebels in Syria, according to Arab News. He was released in September 2018, several months after his sentence was reduced to five years, the outlet reported.

In December 2019, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden advocated “making it clear that we support opposition leadership” in Turkey, characterizing Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan as an “autocrat,” according to Reuters. Biden had been concerned with Erdogan’s approach to Kurds in the country and his relationship with Russia, the outlet reported.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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