Alex Salmond has been criticised after getting a television job courtesy of another autocratic regime.

The Alba party leader, who in 2017 agreed to make a show for the Kremlin-funded RT channel, will now appear weekly on the network of Turkey’s state broadcaster. 

The former first minister's show, Turkish Tea Talk, will go out on the English language channel TRT World, part of the Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) media giant.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats called him an "embarrassment".

A trailer for the first episode says one guest will be the Dundee-born actor Brian Cox, the star of the award-winning Succession series, and a fellow supporter of independence.

The TRT World website says: “In the launch of his latest show Former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond sits down with the Succession actor to discuss the world of entertainment, showbiz and politics while enjoying a cup of Turkish tea. 

“Watch Turkish Tea Talk with Alex Salmond only on TRT World.”

TRT is described by critics as the “propaganda arm” of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose regime is accused of human rights abuses and suppressing free speech.

Mr Salmond’s show comes soon after his appearance at the TRT World Forum in December, when he spoke about Turkey’s international policy and Gaza.

Defending his appearance later, Mr Salmond said aspects of Turkey and President Erdogn’s approach to the UN were “highly praiseworthy”.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “The only lesson Alex Salmond seems to have learned from his stint on Putin’s propaganda channel is that autocrats pay well.

"He’s an embarrassment to the high office that he used to hold.

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“I’d urge him to speak out next time President Erdogan has political opponents jailed or journalists beaten but everyone knows it’s futile because he only cares about his bank balance, where a lira is as good as a ruble."

Green MSP Ross Greer added: "Whether it's TRT or Russia Today, the propaganda arms of brutal regimes should never be mistaken for legitimate media outlets.

"Turkey is one of the world's top jailers of journalists, never mind the pro-democracy politicians and human rights defenders also languishing in it's jails.

"Sadly it seems they can always find useful idiots willing to look past their horrendous human rights records for the sake of a generous paycheck."

When Mr Salmond appeared on RT, his show was made by Slainte Media, a company he set up with former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, who is now the chair of Alba.

Mr Salmond always said he had full editorial control of the programme, although his opponents said he had become a “useful idiot” for Vladimir Putin’s regime.

The show was axed and RT taken off air in the UK when Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Herald:

TRT World was required to register a foreign agent by the US Justice Department because of its close links to the Turkish government. 

Last month the Herald revealed Humza Yousaf had invited President Erdogan to Scotland the next time he was in the UK after the pair met at Cop28 in Dubai.

Responding to the criticism,  Alba party General Secretary Chris McEleny said:  “In the past year Alec Cole-Hamilton has only been known by the Scottish public as the LibDem guy that sells his garden to tourists during the Edinburgh festival and the MSP that dialled into parliament from the pub.

"Whereas Alex Salmond is known as the First Minister that scrapped tolls, delivered the free bus pass, free prescriptions, and free tuition - all whilst facing down Westminster.

"I’m sure most Scots view Turkey as a country that they enjoy to holiday in and one that saved millions of people from starvation by brokering the Russia Ukraine grain deal last year and the LibDems’ attack on Turkey are out of touch with the vast majority of the people of Scotland. “