A postage stamp issued by the Turkish government which bears an image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian national flag has gone viral on the occasion of PM Modi’s 71st birthday. The text inscribed in the stamp at the bottom reads, “Narendra Modi Prime Minister of the Republic of India.” Supporters of the Prime Minister have widely shared the image of the stamp, hailing that he was honoured by a Muslim majority country but is criticised in India.

Alt News has received numerous fact-check requests for the image on WhatsApp (+91 76000 11160) and the Alt News mobile application.

The same image was also shared in 2019 by @Pooja09876089 that wrote, “तुर्की ने टिकिट निकाल दिया हमारे यहां गाली देने से ही फुर्सत नहीं है (Turkey has issued a ticket while here they don’t have time except to abuse.)

The official handle of Bharatiya Janata Party Assam also tweeted an image of the postage stamp with the message that a great honour was bestowed upon the Prime Minister as he is one of the greatest leaders in Indian politics.

Based on the postage stamp, several individuals on social media have claimed that it is a symbolic acceptance by Turkey that PM Modi is ‘one of the great leaders’. The claim has been viral on Facebook and Twitter at least since November 2015.

NOT exclusively for Prime Minister Modi

The stamp was indeed issued by Turkey but not exclusively for PM Modi as claimed on social media. As a part of the commemorative series during the G20 Antalya Summit held on November 15, 2015, a personalised postage stamp for ALL the leaders present at the summit was issued by The Turkish Postage (PTT).

The official handle of G20 Turkey had also posted an image of the special edition stamp collection.

An article published by Business Today on November 19, 2015 stated, “In all, 33 stamps including of the leaders of the 19 biggest and most powerful economies of the world and the European Union were issued.”

Postage stamps featuring other prominent world leaders like former US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were also issued.

Misleading captions

Gaurav Pradhan and Alok Gupta who are followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted the misleading narrative.

While it is true that a personalised postage stamp was issued for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to suggest that it was in honour of “one of the greatest leaders” in Indian politics is an exaggeration at the very least. This is not the first time that an Indian Prime Minister was featured on an international postage stamp. A concentrated effort to capitalize a commemorative postage stamp issued for all the world leaders present at the G20 summit as a special and exclusive recognition earned by the current Prime Minister underlines the political propaganda run on social media.

About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.